Vrygrond was, originally, an informal settlement of fisherfolk in the dunes behind Strandfontein beach in the Cape. It grew gradually with new residents spilling out of areas like Lavender Hill and Retreat. Later, many Xhosa speaking families arrived from the Eastern Cape, seeking work opportunities and access to better health care. Finally, refugees and migrants from all over Africa came and settled in Vrygrond, hoping to establish a new life for themselves on the outskirts of Cape Town. The number of school drop outs was high and many young people found themselves caught in the traps of drug gangs, teenage pregnancy and unemployment. For school leavers with a matric – young people who had already shown resolve and an above-average commitment to work – help was at hand when the Fit for Life, Fit for Work programme arrived in Vrygrond in 2010.
etafeni trust, nyanga,
Nyanga is a sub-economic community with the highest crime stats in South Africa. Many families struggle to give their children opportunities that they did not have. When the Fit for Life, Fit for Work programme was first developed and offered at Etafeni – and placement rates were high – word spread fast and young people came in from rural areas to board with relatives just to access the programme. It has been one of Etafeni’s joys to share the programme with partners in other communities.
goedgedacht trust, Swartland
Based on a beautiful historic farm in Riebeeck Kasteel, Goedgedacht seeks to transform surrounding impoverished farming communities. It does so by presenting children and young adults in particular with opportunities to become healthy, self-confident, educated and skillful members of their communities. Goedgedacht’s Rural Academy Centre hosts the Fit for Life, Fit for Work programme of training and support, bringing new self-discovery and excitement to the young participants.
namibia women’s health network, namibia, peri-urban
Women’s Health Network was founded to support women in their struggle for health. The link between the ability to earn a decent living and health was soon apparent and many women – and then men too – were helped to start their own small businesses and to get qualifications that would help them find employment. The Fit for Life, Fit for Work programme was welcomed as a good addition, an enhancement, to what was already being done. Women ‘s Health Network was warmly welcomed into the F4LF4W family.
valoyi trust, nwamitwa,
In Nwamitwa, a rural area in Limpopo, there were few employment opportunities other than badly-paid seasonal farm labour. Young people left their villages for towns: Tzaneen, Polokwane, Johannesburg. Or they lived on social grants at home. When Fit for Life, Fit for Work was invited to Nwamitwa, it started learnerships in agriculture, construction and early childhood development – all careers that could contribute to life in Nwamitwa and to career paths for young school leavers.
wits reproductive health institute, hillbrow,
WRHI realised that there is a strong correlation between healthy sexual choices and hope for the future. Young people who see themselves as having a career path – and a plan – for their lives are less likely to engage in risky behaviour. WRHI is situated in Hillbrow, a densely populated part of Johannesburg, where all of South Africa’s languages – and many of Africa’s languages – are spoken. In addition, many young people came in from the urban sprawl of townships surrounding Johannesburg to join the Fit for Life, Fit for Work programme.