A church affiliated organisation is bent on making a positive impact in the lives of the youth of Philippi.Bridges of Hope, a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), which works in partnership with St Pauls Anglican Church, is making strides in helping to shape the future of youth in the area.Sisanda Siboto, the area director of the NGO, said the organisation was formed by missionaries from the United States of America (USA) in 2002, but now it is run by locals.The organisation is, among other things, helping about 180 orphans and vulnerable children and youth, does home visits to those infected and affected by HIV, conduct support groups, more especially for the drug addicts and their family members.It also runs after-school programmes where they help learners with their school work, trains unemployed youth to be ready for job market and also conducts informal classes for children who could not get registered in schools, due to not having the necessary documents. “We are trying to bridge the gap left by late parents for the children. The organisation is a big help in the area. We empower the youth, most of whom have passed matric and others have certificates from colleges, to ensure that they get jobs, Siboto said.They have already formed partnerships with the Interdependence Transformation Influence Strategy Action (ITISA) which is set to help the youth with job placements. Siboto also said they are planning to register for accreditation with Construction Education and Training Authority (CETA) in future. She said they will start with training youth courses such as Hospitality and Office Administration which they believe are in demand. The NGO holds it services at the church which is situated in Browns Farm, 48 Section.They are appealing for anyone who can help them to raise more funds to keep the organisation going.Their only source of income is generated through hiring-out their retreat-facility which is in Franschhoek. They had a learning academy which saw dozens of youth passing matric, but it closed down in 2015 due to lack of funds.Bulelani Ndinda, a committee member, said they also search for talent for the youths and then guide them through it.“We are inviting the youth to come and be part of the programmes. Youth that come here enjoy the opportunity of speaking-out about issues that affect them and support each other. The youth is facing a lot of challenges so they need to be part of the support group. This organisation helped me to be the person I am today. I was part of it since I was young and it has been good to me,” he said.