Fountain of Hope Youth Project
Baphumelele Fountain of Hope provides young people aged 18-21, who have been raised in residential care or who have recently been orphaned or who are vulnerable, with a safe and nurturing environment. They are taught a new skill set including life skills, computing and how to grow their own food, and given educational support enabling them to build a positive future for themselves as self-sufficient adults.
Located on around a hectare of farmland on Schaapkraal Road in the Philippi Horticultural area, on the Cape Flats, the farm currently hosts a stable group of young people in the farmhouse and temporary residential buildings. Supported by a small team, the youth are being assisted back to school or into vocational training, as well as taking part in programs dedicated to building up their independent living skills. Recent sessions including life skills, career guidance, equine therapy and sports participation.
A non-residential program also runs each month training young people from our child headed homes program in computing, how to grow food, and life skills. Many of these young people are otherwise out of school or unemployed and this program gives them new motivation with the relevant skills to consider returning to school or to take up an internship.
As food security is such an important issue in this country, an acre of land has been planted with vegetables including spinach, beetroot, turnips, cabbage and herbs. A small team of gardeners look after the land, using organic and permaculture principles. The garden grows vegetables for use by all the Baphumelele projects as well as selling directly to local businesses. The gardeners are also responsible for training all the youth attending Fountain of Hope programs in how to grow their own food.
The non-residential course takes two days and teaches the young people how they can grow spinach, beetroot and other highly nutritious vegetables in the wastelands around the shacks where they stay. Sharing this information with their neighbours in their community is also encouraged, so that as many people as possible can gain from knowing how to grow their own food.
The need for this type of support is very great in this community, and the aim to eventually host up to 50 young people . As it is a relatively new project, the current group of youth are being housed in temporary buildings but there are plans to build permanent accommodation as well as training and counselling rooms, and areas dedicated to vocational training including catering and woodwork.
For the latest update and further details, please do contact Rosie.