Our areas of focus
In South Africa, FXB is focusing on youth’s education and life skills development. In this effort, FXB opened the first After School – Life Skills program in Alexandra Township in June 2000 to support young people, ages 12-18, who have lost their parents to AIDS. This program aims at minimizing the impact of poverty and diseases on youth by reinforcing their capacities to cope with their daily lives and help them create a healthy future for themselves.
The After School – Life Skills program addresses the mental distress of young people and provides educational, nutritional and recreational support and resources. These are mainly oriented toward children’s rights, sex education, self-respect, respect for others, sexual abuse, violence and information on and prevention of HIV/AIDS.
More than 1,800 young people have been part of the FXB After School – Life Skills programs, which offer:
- Help with school projects and assignments
- Art therapy and counseling
- Recreational activities
- HIV/AIDS education
- Drug and alcohol dependency counseling
- Life skills
- Awareness campaigns
- Training as peer-educators
- Development of youth clubs
- Financial literacy
- Environmental awareness
- Vocational training with a possibility of employment
In 2006, FXB added a new activity under the outreach programs: the Youth Club program. The Youth Club is comprised of young people who have been at least three years into the After School – Life Skills program. The objective is to train these young people to operate the After School – Life Skills program, including all activities and administrative aspects. FXB also encourages the young trainees to develop and implement their own projects. There are 10 to 15 Youth Club members in each After-School Life Skills program. Youth Club trainees are also encouraged to give back to their communities through visits to orphanages, senior citizen homes, disability centers and hospices.
In 2008, the young participants of the After School – Life Skills and Youth Club programs compiled their stories and poems in a book called “Iridescent Reflections.” In 2011, they also published a collection of poems entitled “Walk a Mile in My Shoes.”
In 2013, FXB opened a first Vocational Training program in the Soweto and Alexandra townships in Johannesburg intended for 120 young people over three years. The program strengthens the impact of the existing programs and is designed to offer young people the opportunity of a successful future and enable them to live above the poverty line. 40 young per year have the opportunity to follow theoretical and practical training courses in IT, management, administration, data processing and call centers. Meanwhile, FXB is careful to develop their life skills and leadership.
At the end of their training, they will be assisted to find a job within a company or to start their own micro-enterprise.
The majority of Black children in South Africa, nearly 60 percent, live in extreme poverty. HIV/AIDS has exacerbated this situation, spreading poverty and weakening families.
In 2013, it was estimated that 6.3 million people were living with HIV/AIDS, the highest number of people in any country. For children whose parents have HIV/AIDS, many of them suffer neglect long before they are orphaned. Eventually, with the death of a parent, they are left with little or no support, and the trauma of coping with the loss of a loved one.
In many cases, when a child faces these challenges, schooling is interrupted or performance at school begins to deteriorate. Expenses, such as school fees, uniforms and stationery, present a major burden. Caregivers or extended families cannot afford to take on these extra costs, as they struggle to survive. Consequently, these children are at risk of missing out on an education, suffering poor health, malnutrition, abuse and exploitation. They are also at risk of contracting HIV.
Children grieving for dying or dead parents are often stigmatized by society merely through association with AIDS. The distress and social isolation experienced by these children, both before and after the death of a parent, is strongly exacerbated by the shame, fear and rejection that often surrounds people affected by HIV/AIDS.
Youth unemployment has been inordinately high for many years in South Africa and is one of the country’s major socio-economic challenges. South Africa has the third highest unemployment rate in the world for people between the ages of 15 to 24, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Risk 2014 report. According to statistics for 2014 compiled by Good Governance Africa (GGA), South Africa is the only country in Africa where more than half of 15 to 24-year-olds are jobless. Its 52.6% youth unemployment rate is the continent’s highest.
Our future plans
Find new partners to:
Replicate and extend the FXB After School – Life Skills and Youth Club programs
Launch the first FXBVillage in South Africa