Greetings from South Africa! After a brief hiatus of posting, we are back to keep you updated about what is happening in the field with CHOSA. As February has already come and gone, CHOSA is now in full swing for 2017, working with our 8 partner organisations in and around the Cape Flats. All of the children that CHOSA works with seem to be doing well and growing so big! We at CHOSA are also excited to announce that we now have an additional member on our South African team, Adele, who will be bringing a stronger focus towards fundraising within South Africa.

We have two new volunteers working with CHOSA from Holland. CHOSA is very excited to welcome Liza and Shannon to the team and looks forward to learning from the research they will be conducting with our partner organisations. This week we have taken them around to all of our partners in Khayelitsha, where they will be focusing their work, and they seem thrilled to get started!

As an exciting pit stop, we were able to go to the 18 Gangster Museum with the volunteers between visits to CHOSA’s partner crèches (pre-schools) and children’s homes. This museum is housed in a pop-up shipping container, and details the crisis of gangsterism in South Africa. Providing education to foreigners and locals alike, the 18 Gangster Museum highlights how important it is to provide support and positive opportunities for children growing up in South Africa in order to keep them on a healthy trajectory that will guide them towards long-term success and a life free of gang involvement. As CHOSA works in communities plagued with unemployment, addiction, poverty, violence, and HIV/AIDS, this visit brought home the importance of the work that CHOSA’s partner organisations do in order to keep the children that they care for safe, healthy, and loved. The role that CHOSA partner organisations play could make all the difference in keeping children off of the street, and away from gang involvement. While the realities of South Africa can at times be hard to swallow, as was this visit to the 18 Gangster Museum, it reminds us at CHOSA of why we do what we do, and why it is so important to continue to fund our partner organisations. Learning of the humbling facts about the correlation between youth and gang involvement further guides CHOSA to seek to support more community-driven projects that aim to improve the lives of youth within their communities. Thanks again for letting us come visit and learn so much 18 Gangster Museum!

In the coming weeks we will be supporting Liza and Shannon with their research at a few of our partner organisations and continuing with various capacity building activities with our partners. CHOSA will also be ramping up our social media presence, so look out for interesting reads and posts to share! Keep a look out on our news page and social media for more blog posts providing updates from the field about CHOSA’s work.