Location and general information
The Mamelodi township, northeast of Pretoria, is one of the poorest communities in South Africa. The level of education is low and opportunities for supervised learning outside the classroom are often non-existent. Physical education was taken off the national curriculum in 1994 and it is a subject easily neglected in townships lacking playgrounds and sports fields. Children often hang out unsupervised on the streets where they are exposed to numerous risks, such as violence, drugs, and early and unprotected sex, further damaging their already fragile lives and preventing them from building a future.
Bophelo Ke Kgwele (The Game, the Life!) was launched in 2011 by the Swiss NGO IMBEWU, in partnership with the South African association Altus Sport and the basketball player Thabo Sefolosha. The project promotes children’s learning and holistic development through extracurricular sports, educational and recreational activities. These activities are led by young adults from within the local community and consist of academic support classes, summer camps, tournaments and life skills sessions.
The project improves the participants’ physical and mental well-being, as well as raising their level of education. By building partnerships, Altus Sport becomes more sustainable and autonomous.
- Sports activities every day after school, on some weekends and during the holidays.
- Fun life skills sessions covering social issues, health and prevention, rights and responsibilities, crime, gender equality, drugs and sex.
- After-school English reading and writing support for children aged 6–8.
- Daily distribution of fruit to all the beneficiaries to address the problem of malnutrition.
- Maintenance of sports facilities and provision of water and sanitation facilities.
- Training and knowledge-sharing workshops every month for the young coaches.
- Trust will be established between the young people and the coaches.
- Coaches will develop professional, personal and social skills; each coach will participate in at least 80% of the workshops each year; and at least one coach will find employment each year.
- The beneficiaries’ self-esteem and self-confidence will increase by 75% each year.
- English reading and comprehension levels will be improved by 50% each year and children needing extra academic support will attend at least one reading support class per week.
- Each child will attend at least one sports lesson per week and over the year they will learn the rules of the game and develop their skills in at least six sports.
- The nutritional element will remain part of the project and the physical fitness of the beneficiaries will be improved by 80% each year.
- Communication with all partners will continue; the municipality of Tshwane will continue to support the project; and networking will attract new sponsors and partners.
- Manuals will be regularly updated and tests at the beginning and end of each year will provide accurate and relevant quantitative and qualitative data.