Bellville South is a northern suburb of Cape Town. Our community is a small residential area in an industrial zone. Most of our community's roughly 30,000 inhabitants are Coloured (with Afrikans as the predominant language), along with a relatively small number of migrant populations from places including Somalia, Ethiopia, Bengali and the Congo. Due to limited land space, the community has a mixture of middle-class freestanding houses, lower-income freestanding homes and council flats – often with 4 informal dwellings/shacks in each yard – as well as in the yards of private homes. Building Bridges provides the only free after-school program in Bellville South.
Our youth have a tremendous amount to teach the world; they have done a great deal to improve their communities in our young democracy. They're familiar with public health challenges, social reconciliation, entrepreneurship, music, art, sports, and much more. They are the future of our nation, which gives us great pride. We also know our young people are hurting. The extreme nature of poverty, along with the trauma of Apartheid, has had a bruising effect on our youth. Many young people are head-of-home with parents lost to illness or substance abuse. Substitute “family” is often found in gangs. Unemployment is high and racial prejudice persists. Building Bridges is unwaveringly committed to replacing hopelessness with hope, happiness, and triumph.
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our staff: have over 50 years of combined experience with youth in South Africa. The team of Building Bridges is dedicated to the nations most disenfranchised young people and their communities.