Project information

Changing The Story

We will support three South African community organisations to develop safe spaces for vulnerable children and Youth Committees which empower young people to lead advocacy campaigns to influence peer behaviour and policies which affect their lives.

Two years

Charity information: Bishop Simeon Trust

Bishop Simeon Trust logo
  • Need


    The children of Ekurhuleni, to the South East of Johannesburg, face multiple challenges. 37% go hungry every day, 12% live without their parents and many children live in households led by other children. In such circumstances children are left vulnerable and experience high rates of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, peer relationship difficulties, suicidal urges, delinquency and homelessness. They are marginalised & disconnected from education, health & social welfare.


    The project will reach 500 vulnerable children and young people in Ekurhuleni. It will help us assure that 12 Child Care Advocates are available to support children within community centres called Safe Parks. They will also be supported to build their skills to reach national standards that can help them qualify for statutory support. They will also help develop Youth Committees which will give children a voice in their communities. This will protect whilst creating solutions to the problems.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Youth Leadership & Advocacy


    » Youth committees will work to develop youth led advocacy campaigns which will influence and inform the decisions of policy development
    » Youth committees will work to influence behaviour change amongst their peers to improve health, safety, opportunities and advocacy skills

    What success will look like

    * Improvements in the confidence, ambition and resilience of young people
    * Youth engagement in actions which affect change in their communities
    * Number of people reached

    Aim 2

    Institutional Capacity Building


    » Child Care Advocate training which improves their skills including: counselling; HIV/AIDS; human rights; social welfare, etc.

    What success will look like

    The community partner shows demonstrable improvement in relation to organisational capacity in terms of governance, finances, management, human resources, strategy, etc.

    Aim 3

    Strategic Impact


    » Pursue the inclusion of our enhanced and innovative Youth Committee model in the Isibindi Safe Park standards accredited by the NACCW
    » Share our model with the NACCW and the Department of Social Development to inform and influence their policy and practice
    » Share our model with UNICEF in order to inform and influence their work in South Africa and internationally
    » Share practice through our connections with other non-State actors, including the Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute, the Mandela Foundation

    What success will look like

    Our action research partnership with the University of Leeds will see our model shared in Rwanda, Cambodia, Kosovo and Colombia and through published research.

  • Impact


    The youth-led focus will provide space for young people themselves to inform the development of services aimed at them, whilst enabling them to lead the development of South Africa in the future. This has the potential to provide a 'demographic dividend' from the 39% of the population (20 million people) under 19 years old in South Africa and strengthen democracy by building a stronger civil society able to work with the State. We will demonstrate this through youth-led campaign reports.


    1. State Policy towards charities: we monitor the situation in South Africa and maintain good partnerships with State actors.
    2. Stability of Community Partnerships: we have had a long commitment to the communities we serve and involve them in all plans, work and monitoring.
    3. Uptake & Cultural Acceptance of Youth Committees: we develop committees with youth already demonstrating consistent leadership and enthusiasm. We also work closely with local partners at every stage of establishment.


    We will provide the following reports:
    1. Quarterly:
    Output reports that include numbers of children reached, activities,etc.

    2. Annually:
    Organisational development self-assessments and child surveys which show changes in confidence and resilience.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £50,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £12,768 Child Care Advocate Supervisor 3 Supervisors to coordinate the work of 3 ChildCare Advocates, providing child support themselves.
      £30,528 Child Care Advocates 12 x CCAs to provide counselling, advice and support to children
      £2,058 Training Training support to upskill the Supervisor and 3 x CCAs
      £4,646 Support, Monitor & Evaluate Ongoing support, monitoring and evaluation of the CCA work
  • Background


    Gauteng is the most populous province of South Africa with a population of 13 million people, 25% of the population. 3.5 million children live in Gauteng: 1.3 million go hungry every day, 1 million live with only one parent, 400,000 live without their parents and 13,000 live in households led by other children.
    An estimated 1.4 million people are HIV+ and of the 250 new HIV infections each day 25% are cases of young women.


    The project will provide direct support to 500 vulnerable children. Child Care Advocates (CCAs) will be supported to increase their skills in advising, counselling and supporting vulnerable children and youth as they develop Youth Committees. This will benefit a further 1,100 indirectly in their households. This will form part of a larger programme within which we aim to reach a minimum of 50,000 young people through youth led advocacy campaigns which engage with local communities.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Bishop Simeon Trust has helped children and communities in South Africa to transform
    their lives for over 25 years.The project builds on, and is rooted in, decades of partnership with the communities targeted, providing us with legitimacy and access to those supporting vulnerable children and young people. The innovative enhanced Youth Committee model is built on two pieces of action research conducted with 4 community organisations in partnership with the Univeristy of Leeds.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Sinethemba Makanya

    Sne is a renowned drama therapist in South Africa and is a Fulbright Alumnus, having completed her MA in Drama therapy in New York.

    Themba Interactive

    South Africa's leading applied drama and theatre organisation uses performance to engage teach youth about social issues.

    Bafana Kunene

    Bafana has spent his entire career to supporting children and the their communities in South Africa. He brings real community insight to our work.

    Martin Keat

    Martin has over 20 years of experience of community led development in South Africa. As Director he will have oversight of the project.

How and why we use community film making for youth led campaigns in South Africa

The Bishop Simeon Trust has been a beacon of light in South Africa. I am proud to be a Patron.

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC Patron of the Bishop Simeon Trust