The Litsemba Centre - Drop in and Counseling Centre

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Drop in Centre

Townships often do not have a place where youth can drop in and have a place to hang out. At least, there are not many places where they can do this safely! The Litsemba Centre is just such a place, where youth and children can go to find training in skills, guidance, a teenage pregnancy crisis centre, and general support.

Homework Clubs

Most orphans struggle in school as they have no parents at home to help them with their homework or encourage them to work on projects. In fact, a bigger problem is that children who do not have parents at home have extra work to do and homework takes a back seat to the work.  Children in child headed households or in households with a sick adult who they have to care for, spend most of their out of school washing, cooking, finding food for the household, cleaning or selling tomatoes on the street to earn money for the house.

Children and youth who come to the centre each day receive homework support and help. In this way, they can be assisted to stay in school and staying in school is the key to their futures.

A homework support programme has started for orphans at Siyakhula Primary School, which is close to the centre.  Bonginhlanhla High School has also started a homework support programme.  Youth workers from the centre go to the schools after school to work with the children before they go home.

 

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Guidance & Computer Centre (Future dreams)

The Litsemba Centre will be offering a variety of services to youth in the community, including a career guidance centre.


We are hoping to create a centre where we will have skilled personnel who can assist youth with what courses to take at school, how to apply for bursaries, and what to do if they do not have a high school diploma and want to move on with their lives.
We also hope to run a computer centre where youth can come to get on the internet to do homework assignments, get information and learn computer skills.

These are long term projects and we hope to get them launched in 2013.

Library / Community Computer Centre / Career Guidance

In today’s world, knowledge of computers is essential for young people seeking jobs. Rural communities do not have access to computers and so learners rarely graduate from rural schools with computer competency. Our future goal is to have a resource centre where learners can get skills training or where community members can use the internet for personal purposes. Libraries are also few and far between. There is no community library in Daantjie where learners can go to do research for school projects or where children can take out books to read for enjoyment. Many learners do not have access to proper career guidance, or know where to go for help in how to match their skills and gifts with a career that will be realistic and fulfilling. The media centre will have information on where to go for bursaries, further studies and how to access good information for their futures

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The Boy's Club that meets each week for counseling and support

Drop-in programme for out of school youth

 

In October 2011, the Litsemba Centre started a drop in programme for out of school youth.  Every week, the centre shows videos and serves popcorn to youth who hang out on the streets around the centre.  After the movies there are discussions about current issues as they relate to the movies.  The goal is to assist these youth to gain a vision for their futures and motivate them to go back to school. 

Xolane Makamu is the leader who is spearheading this initiative.  While it is challenging to work with these young men, the fruits are already being seen.  Ultimately, we want to see full time programmes running, with activities such as board hockey, etc. available to attract the youth to the centre. 

Many children and youth are in need of grief and bereavement counseling in this area of South Africa.


Children who have lost their parents are in need of a place where they can talk out their problems and receive support to make it through the challenges they face each day.  Trained youth counselors are available to assist these children to process their grief and start moving past their problems.


Also available is the OPTIONS Pregnancy Crisis counseling service run by Youth for Christ and SANCA, the South African National Council of Addiction counseling services and pastoral care by our pastoral team made up of Pastors Sthembiso and Thuli Nkambule from the Assemblies of God Church in Embonisweni and Darryl and Janine Mather-Pike of Emoyeni Children's Ministries.  These pastoral teams work with our own Litsemba Centre youth team to strengthen them in their faith and with other youth involved in the Hope Clubs in the schools.

 

Youth Soccer Team

Out of the group of out of school youth who come to the Litsemba Centre every day, has grown a soccer team.  This soccer team has started to take part in local soccer leagues and involves the boys who are gangsters and drug addicts in the community of Daantjie.  Although they are still learning, having new soccer jerseys has encouraged and inspired them to participate.  We are currently looking for ways for the team to raise money to purchase soccer boots and kit as well as to register in district leagues so that they can begin serious competitions.  Thanks to Sipho Nkosi, this team is doing well, and they are starting to win lots of games at this point. 

The soccer team has also started a choir, made up of the guys from the gangs around Daantjie.  They practiced daily for the Eisteddfod Choir Competition in August where they won an "A" mark for their performance. 

LITSEMBA CENTRE CHOIRS

Hope Children's Choir

Hope Youth Choir

Hope Male Choir

The 3 Mamkhulu.org choirs did exceedingly well in the 2012 Nelspruit Eisteddfod Choir Competition.  The Hope Children's Choir scored an A+ while the other two choirs scored an A each.  Well done everyone, especially the leaders, Duncan Dludlu and Sipho Nkosi.

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