Broth­ers For All: Giv­ing ex-con­victs and trou­bled youth a fight­ing chance

The China Post - - COMMENTARY - BY RE­ABETSWE MASHIGO

Broth­ers For All helps peo­ple who have served prison sen­tences to build lives, and helps at-risk youth to skill up for the work­place. South Africa has a youth un­em­ploy­ment rate of 80 per­cent in places and a re-of­fend­ing rate of over 80 per­cent. Both of which stag­ger­ing sta­tis­tics this or­ga­ni­za­tion hopes to rein in with in­ter­ven­tions that break the poverty cy­cle and help to fight spi­ral­ing crime rates. The or­ga­ni­za­tion is brother or­ga­ni­za­tion to Moth­ers For All, which takes care of or­phaned chil­dren or those who have been made vul­ner­a­ble by HIV and AIDS.

Broth­ers for All — based in the Western Cape in the town­ship of Langa — was founded by ex of­fender Sihle Tsha­bala who serves as the na­tional co­or­di­na­tor for the or­ga­ni­za­tion, ex-of­fender Mzi Duba who is the com­mu­nity di­rec­tor, co-founder for Moth­ers for All Linda McCourt Scott as the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, and se­rial en­tre­pre­neur and best­selling au­thor Robyn Scott who cham­pi­ons the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s strat­egy.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion’s suc­cess­ful in­ter­ven­tions in­clude a youth lead­er­ship pro­gram that builds lead­ers around schools through mo­ti­va­tional talks and men­tor­ing; another helps peo­ple to make some money from mak­ing jew­elry which also pro­vides them with en­tre­pre­neur­ial skills; another is a cod­ing start up pro­gram that equips peo­ple with the tech­no­log­i­cal skills to help them get onto the in­for­ma­tion high­way. The prison re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­gram, also called the Group for Hope, of­fers HIV/ AIDS ed­u­ca­tion as well as cod­ing tu­to­ri­als for pris­on­ers.

Man­ag­ing di­rec­tor McCourt Scott says of their fu­ture plans: “We hope to scale our model to other im­pov­er­ished com­mu­ni­ties around the Western Cape and then na­tion­ally. We plan to do the same in cor­rec­tional fa­cil­i­ties.”

Un­sur­pris­ingly the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s big­gest chal­lenge is ca­pac­ity to help more peo­ple. “Our big­gest chal­lenges at the mo­ment are in­suf­fi­cient space, com­put­ers and data to reach the high num­bers of un­em­ployed youth and ex­of­fend­ers who are try­ing to ac­cess our free cod­ing train­ing pro­gram in Langa.”

City Press

At the com­puter lab in Llanga at risk youth gather to learn skills that can help them get onto the in­for­ma­tion high­way.

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