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We are excited to announce the renewal of our contract with the Tiger Brands CSI department for the rollout of the 2012/13 R U Game life skills programme and basketball league. The AYDF team started the 2012 program by recruiting and training a new cadre of volunteers and facilitators. The program this year will involve 28 primary schools (14 in Alexandra township and 14 in Mamelodi township). Our goal is to reach 25 000 learners through our mass motivation programs and we have set a lofty goal of graduating over 4500 primary schools learners from our modular Life skills program . We anticipate having over 600 male and female basketball players in our league this year and there is a great deal of excitement building at the schools in anticipation of this year’s programme.

The Life Skills Programme

In 2010, the African Youth Development Fund (AYDF) approached Tiger Brands with an idea to create a youth empowerment programme for primary schools. The initiative’s aim was to improve the livelihoods of boys and girls through their participation in a sports and life skills programme. The Tiger Brands CSI department in partnership with their beverages division signed off on the concept in July 2010 and in August 2010 the “Are You Game” primary schools basketball league and life skills program was officially launched.

The “Are You Game” pilot project was implemented from August 2010 to February 2011 and the success of that programme has enabled us to see this programme grow from strength to strength now for over two full school terms.The secondary beneficiaries of this initiative are unemployed out of school youth between the ages of 18 and 30 who we trained to implement the programme as volunteer facilitators. These facilitators received management training and act as the managers and implementers of the initiative.

The programme provides motivation, leadership development, nutrition and fitness guidance as well as health knowledge (HIV and AIDS Prevention; Drug & Alcohol awareness) for the learners and facilitators. The programme pilot achieved the following in the Alexandra and Mamelodi communities from August 2010 – February 2011:

  • Over 17 000 learners reached through Mass Motivation sessions
  • 2044 Life Skills programme graduates reached in both communities.
  • Established partnerships with 21 primary schools
  • Trained 42 unemployed out of school volunteers

15 of the volunteers during the pilot programme have since received formal employment within and outside the programme which we view as one of the initiative’s most proud achievements.

ARE YOU GAME BASKETBALL LEAGUE

The “ARE YOU GAME” basketball league was designed to ensure that the extremely popular sport of basketball was accessible in the targeted communities.  The league provides access to the sport but more importantly it creates a channel for AYDF staff and volunteers to develop young leaders in what are known as South Africa’s “previously disadvantaged” communities. 

The chosen communities are Alexandra Township (which is located in Johannesburg) and Mamelodi Township (located just outside the capital city Pretoria).  In 2010 the programme was piloted in the Alexandra and Mamelodi communities and was based at the local community centres where we identified dilapidated basketball courts and refurbished them.  

The refurbishment of these facilities combined with the establishment of structured leagues has created a great deal of excitement in the community but has also created an outlet for thousands of youth in these two communities.