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Masifunde, South Africa

Social Support for Children and Youth in Walmer Township, RSA

Masifunde’s social support aims at strengthening and empowering learners individually in the educational programs of Masifunde and their families who are in need through counselling and family visits, parent support groups, as well as group therapy sessions with focus on specific needs or challenges.

How the iniative makes a difference

Masifunde provides holistic afternoon programs to more than 450 children and youth living in the Walmer Township, Port Elizabeth, every week. The interventions are structured along 3 pillars:

  • Academic support such as tutoring, homework club, reading and computer classes
  • Talent groups such as drama, arts and music classes
  • Life skills training through weekly group classes about current societal challenges such as, e.g., climate change and HIV.

Masifunde’s social assistance department aims at strengthening and empowering the parents and home situation in general, motivating them to play an active role in their child's academia and to create a functioning, conducive and supportive home environment. Besides individual counselling and family visits accessible for all beneficiaries, social workers also offer group support sessions with focus on specific needs or challenges.

How we engage

McKinsey for Children has supported Masifunde’s program with the funding of a social worker. since 2016. The German-South African association has gained experience in implementing education projects in South Africa since 2005 and is supported by Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President of Germany, and Brigitte Zypries, former Minister for Economics and Energy, as well as companies such as Lufthansa and Volkswagen. 

Why it matters

South Africa is burdened by a high rate of poverty and unemployment. Resources are scarce and non-conducive in the public education system – 3 out of 4 children drop out before finishing High School. The challenges continue in the social life of a learner: only 30% of the children in Walmer Township grow up with both parents present in their lives, many live without their biological parents and have to take care of their younger siblings. The crime rate is incredibly high, alcohol and substance abuse is a major challenge in the life of a teenager, teenage pregnancy is at a high.