“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.” ― Nelson Mandela With great enthusiasm and interest, we visited the JLZwane Centre this morning to observe the FLY (Fun Learning for Youth) program. In 2009 nine young professionals who had grown up in extreme poverty and completed college were working in successful careers when they decided to give back to the community by starting a weekly tutoring program for high school students in the townships. The group now consists of 24 adults tutoring 100 students every Saturday in Math, English and life skills classes at the Centre. The students must pass an entrance exam to participate and agree to be present weekly. Transportation and a hot meal is included in the program.
Arm in Arm In Africa has supported this program for 2 years. We believe, as did Nelson Mandela, education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty. Our afternoon was spent visiting Stellenbosch, a city 30 miles east of Cape Town. It was here at the University of Stellenbosch School of Divinity apartheid was born in the 1940s. The law, for all of South Africa, discriminating against black and colored (mixed race) people declared them to be 4/5 of a human being, denied them more than a fourth grade education, restricted their travel and forcibly removed them from whole neighborhoods to settle in swampland,living in inferior housing with no amenities such as plumbing or electricity. While apartheid ended in 1992 conditions are very slow to change with many people of color still living in poverty. In the 15 years AIAIA has been coming here, conditions are improving albeit slowly. The outskirts of Stellenbosch are home to the citizens of the township of Kayamandi. There is a very sharp contrast in living conditions between the wealthier college town of Stellenbosch and the impoverished conditions in Kayamandi. Many people here are employed in the wineries as migrant workers. Although it is against a law outlawing this practice in 2003, some wineries still pay their workers with low quality,surplus wine, thus perpetuating the cycle of addiction and poverty. The AIAIA delegation was delighted to give Mother Bears and friendship bracelets to the children in Kayamandi. Thank you for your continued support and prayers. The 2015 AIAIA delegation