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Together Changing Children’s Lives
The Amy Biehl Foundation is a non-profit organisation that offers programmes to develop and empower youth (5 – 18 years of age) living in the challenged and vulnerable communities within the Western Cape. There are huge inadequacies in the schools in which we work, creating a great need for our programmes. The programmes place a focus on the creative side of the child’s brain, and supplement the shortcomings of the educational system in the townships of South Africa. In 2014, 43.9% of students completed secondary education, the Foundation aims to make learning enjoyable and encourage youngsters to want to learn (Stats SA, August 2014).
To provide the best Children and Youth programmes where all achieve and succeed in life.
To provide a safe and nurturing environment in communities were education is underfunded and insufficient. We strive to develop emotionally and intellectually well-rounded youth whom will become active and engaged members of society.
With over 1800 children participating in our programmes daily, the Foundation is positively impacting the youth as well as the surrounding communities. The Foundation currently operates 5 after school care centres located in Gugulethu, Philippi, Bontheuwel, Khayelithsha, and Athlone. We provide educational and cultural activities that offer students healthy alternatives to the negative influences within their society. We hope to unlock the children’s creative talent, cultivate their intellectual interests, and strengthen their self-confidence in order to become South Africa’s future leaders and entrepreneurs.
The programmes run Monday to Thursday. Each child is provided a sandwich and drink everyday. The Foundation offers a wide-array of after-school programmes including music, HIV / AIDS peer education, greening and environment, literacy, creative arts, drama & dance, sport, and computer literacy.
The Western Cape has the highest level of youth crime, tik addiction and dagga use in South Africa, as well as the most 7-13 year olds arrested and charged by police- keeping youngsters off the streets and away from these societal ills gives them hope for a brighter future.
History of the organisation
The Foundation was named after American student, Amy Biehl, a gifted and dynamic young woman who was committed to making a difference in South Africa. She tirelessly worked with members of the African National Congress (ANC) at the University of the Western Cape’s Community Law Centre on the new Constitution and Women’s Rights, as well as helped register voters for the country’s first free elections in 1994.
On August 25 1993, Amy Biehl’s life was tragically cut short in an act of political mob violence in the Guguletu township just outside of Cape Town. Four young men were convicted of her murder, and after spending 5 years in prison were granted amnesty through the parents of Amy and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Determined to honour Amy’s love of South Africa and her belief in the truth and reconciliation process, Amy’s parents founded the organisation.