Donation helps Ottery boys

2017-03-22 12:28
Celebrating a donation to the Ottery Youth Care Centre in their new media centre are, from left, Winston Golding, Elizabeth Margaret Steyn from the foundation, Prof Azeem Badroodeen, chairperson of the centre’s board of governors, and Keathan Goodman.

Celebrating a donation to the Ottery Youth Care Centre in their new media centre are, from left, Winston Golding, Elizabeth Margaret Steyn from the foundation, Prof Azeem Badroodeen, chairperson of the centre’s board of governors, and Keathan Goodman. (Gary van Dyk)

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It is something special when you experience young lives taking a turn in the right direction.

This was evident when a special Human Rights Day assembly was held at the Ottery Youth Care Centre last week.

While the big event for the day was receiving a donation of R250 000 from the Elizabeth Margaret Steyn (EMS) Foundation, the bigger news was that the boys hosted this event by themselves as they presented a programme of entertainment that included dancing and moving testimony from the headboy about his life.

The donation will allow the centre to continue its work in providing discipline, supervision and a caring environment to 70 boys. With a focus on education, the centre works to reintegrate the children into society as productive members of their communities, rebuild self-esteem and provide skills training that prevents the children from re-offending and gives them the tools needed to find a job.

“What we want most is to give our kids here the spirit of resilience, so that when life throws its challenges at them they can bounce back on the right path,” says Moosa Mahadick, principal of the centre.

“We were amazed when we got the phone call from the EMS Foundation to say that their fundraising efforts had paid off in a big way. It is a huge financial boost as well as a massive affirmation for the kind of work that we’re doing.”

EMS is a South African philanthropic foundation with the purpose of achieving lasting solutions, alleviating and ending suffering, raising public awareness and providing dignity by supporting and sustaining humane solutions, interventions and research for the protection of children, the aged and wildlife.

It was started by brothers Louis and TJ Steyn, both successful South African entrepreneurs from Camps Bay, in honour of their mother Elizabeth Margaret Steyn who taught them the importance of giving back and making the world a kinder and more compassionate place.

“We are proud to support an organisation making an enormous difference in the lives of so many,” says Louis Steyn, co-founder of the foundation. “By putting education at the heart of helping these boys turn their lives around the Ottery Youth Care Centre not only benefits the boys, their families and their communities but South Africans as a whole, preventing more crime, making our streets and communities safer and delivering savings to the public purse.”

For more information visit www.emsfoundation.­org.za.

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