The Project

Vulamasango means "Open Gates" in Xhosa. Vulamasango, a Non-Profit Organization (NPO) situated in Cape Town, has opened it's doors to orphaned and vulnerable children from the townships in Cape Town and provides them with a new home and a brighter future. Vulamasango, aided by it's German fundraising entity Positiv Leben e.V., is a Child and Youth Care Facility with a residential component for children whose parents passed away or, for whatever reason, are not able to provide for and look after their children anymore.

 

THE COMPONENTS OF VULAMASANGO:

 

RESIDENTIAL CARE FACILITY

(Since Jan 2011)
Admission Criteria
We admit children between ages 0 to 18, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or religious and cultural affiliation. It is a stated goal to also admit children who are HIV positive.

Living Arrangements
The children are raised in family units of not more than 10 children with a house parent. In each unit the daily structure and rhythm is that of a family. Through the daily interaction with his or her siblings and houseparent, but also through routine tasks and chores, the child is able to form a close emotional family bond with a strong sense of responsibility for the tasks within any society.

School & Apprenticeships
In accordance with their academic abilities the children are being provided with the best possible education. Apart from that, we provide a wide range of activities, the acquisition of practical life skills and a holistic afternoon entertainment through our After School Care (see below). After completion of school, the youth are provided with a wide range of opportunities such as practical skills training and apprenticeships, in order to re-integrate the children into society and equip them with the necessary skills to live an independent life. Wherever possible we finance tertiary education (university and college degrees) or external apprenticeships, as well as create internal apprenticeships in our organic farming project and within the social- and pedagogical sphere of our project (carpentry-workshop, organic farming, child-rearing, nursing, computer- and IT skills). Even for our staff we provide numerous skills-training and adult education opportunities in fields such as nursing, farming, and child-rearing.

 

AFTER SCHOOL CARE

(since October 2009)
Currently almost 40 external children and youth from the neighbouring townships of Nyanga, Samorra Machel, Philippi and Khayelitsha as well as our own children and youth from the residential component are attending our daily After School Care programmes. The external children have often lost at least one or even both parents due to HIV/Aids, alcohol or violent crime, but still live with their mothers, relatives or neighbors. They all grew up under extremely impoverished and socially difficult circumstances and have often been exposed to poverty, violent crime, abuse and rape. We not only offer them safety from the dangers of life in the townships, but also provide them with access to education, homework supervision, sports and acrobatics. We provide workshops in such areas as the arts, music, dance and theatre. In addition the youth are offered workshops on topics such as HIV/Aids, sexuality, gender equality, cultural identity, and group counselling to overcome their traumatic childhood experiences.

 

CRÈCHE (Pre-School)

(since February 2010)
Our two crèche teachers, who have both completed a 5-year-course in Early Childhood Development (based on Waldorf principles), are running a crèche with 35 external children from the neighboring township Samorra Machel as well as our own children from the residential component. The external children are from similar backgrounds than our After School Care children, but continue to live in their own or in foster families.

 

ORGANIC FARMING

(currently in planning)
Our concept envisions the integration of the families into an organic farming organism. The farm plot provides ample space to grow organic vegetables, herbs and fruit. We place great emphasis on the therapeutic value of youth being able to connect with nature through working in the vegetable gardens, thereby creating a conscious attitude towards nature and taking responsibility for ones surroundings. Not only can the vegetable gardens help towards greater sustainability of the project, but they can also provide an opportunity for some youth to participate in apprenticeships of organic farming after completion of their secondary education.

 

CARPENTRY WORKSHOP

(since Feb. 2013)
Vulamasango was donated a complete carpentry workshop from Germany. In order to house the 90 sm of machines we built a completely new building. The aim is to establish a workshop to train youth in developing vocational skills. The carpenter who donated the machines will help to train a local carpenter over the coming years, who can then pass on his skills to interested youth in the project as part of an apprenticeship.

 

MEDICAL CARE FACILITY

(Approx. in 2016, as part of Phase II of the building process)
Basic and emergency medical care is provided by the surrounding local hospitals. In addition to that, the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Vulamasango, Dr. Philip Rüther, already provides for the children's basic medical needs through his private practise. In order for him to provide medical care on site, we envision building an internal medical care facility for our resident children as part of Phase II or III of the building process (approximately in 2016 - 2018, depending on funding).