Youth Potential South Africa - YOUPSA is an education Non-Profit and Public Benefit Organisation (charity) that awakens the creativity, potential and purpose of South African children and youth.
We spoke to Alexis, the founder of YOUPSA.
1. Can you tell us a bit more about YOUPSA?
YOUPSA's weekly Afterschool Enrichment and Literacy programmes benefit many disadvantaged children and youth in the De Rust area, in the Western Cape Province in South Africa. YOUPSA nurtures social-emotional skills, problem-solving, leadership, team-building, creative and critical thinking skills in young people, skills that are neither developed in the schools nor in their communities.
In addition to our weekly programmes, we make educational outings with the children to open up their worlds. YOUPSA is the only Nonprofit supporting the disadvantaged children and youth in De Rust, and we would love for people to learn more about our work with the children, become involved and support our work.
2. What challenges are you currently facing and how are you tackling them?
Children and youth live in an environment with high levels of drug abuse, alcoholism, violence, family disintegration, poor living conditions, malnutrition and weak health. These traumatic experiences make a huge impact on the childrens' lives and affects their participation.
YOUPSA's regular weekly programs, care for the children, and long term relationships mitigates these factors and brings a huge upliftment in their daily life.
General low levels of literacy in community and lack of interest for young people's development. This affects childrens' participation in the program. Sometimes family members hold children back because of lack of understanding of child development and lack of supportive attitude for their child.
Regular communication with families and community members about their children, their successes, and their participation in the program. Create opportunities to bring people together and see the childrens' work. Make home visits.
Extensive broken infrastructure and lack of conducive meeting space. This can affect program delivery. For example, it is often challenging to find a quiet and safe space with water and toilet because the rural communities do not generally have these conditions.
Work within the limitations that we have. Be flexible about changing meeting spaces if need be. Continuously networking so that learn about other possibilities if it is necessary to make a shift.
Difficulty finding volunteers that have interest and passion for learning, personal development, protecting and supporting children and youth.
Work within the capacity that we have. Continuously networking with community members and offer them opportunities to get involved. Apply appropriate screening processes for volunteers.
Disadvantaged rural South African children and youth are often seen as uneducatable and are therefore regarded as unworthy of any support. In the general public, we regularly encounter a lack of interest or empathy for their situation.
Meet community members at every opportunity, make them aware of the importance of supporting rural children and the specific needs of the children. Create opportunities for people to get involved and experience the children and YOUPSA's programs first-hand. Utilize media platforms to spread awareness about the plight of rural children and YOUPSA's work.
3. How can people support you?
YOUPSA is calling for donations towards the running of the Afterschool Enrichment Programme. Expenses include weekly healthy snacks for 45 children, petrol for daily transportation, programme resources.
You can make your donation here: https://youpsa.org/donate/
For more information about YOUPSA's programmes visit our social media
Power in Numbers
Time spent (hrs)