About Sinethemba Youth Development Centre
For the past 7 years Sinethemba, a non-profit, non-religious, non-government child welfare, Section 18A company, dedicated itself to mentoring and reintegrating children who ran away, or were expelled, from school. Sinethemba has impacted many lives since its inception.
Sinethemba works with an average of 30 youths per day between the ages of 7-18 years. It brought “HOPE” to children who gave up hope and left school, turning to the streets in a desperate attempt for survival, even from the tender age of 7. They become hardened criminals at a young age; the situation at home normally atrocious with either being abandoned by the mother or being beaten up by the mother’s boyfriend or even the drunken or drug infused father. At a young age, they started smoking dagga and turned to substances such as alcohol, tik, rocks (crystal meths) and even cocaine. These are the children who have lost hope. These are tomorrow’s criminals, thieves, drug dealers, aids victims, rapists and murderers if we do not step in and do something about it.
Initially, there was the establishment of Knysna Kids Care in 2001. It operated under the auspices of the local Youth for Christ Centre as one of their community extension projects. The project operated out of an empty industrial container which could accommodate 15 children. The project expanded with more and more street children being enrolled. Having an unqualified youth worker, no nearby hygiene or proper feeding facilities, the container was moved to Hornlee, a nearby township.
In June 2003, Mr David Crowe and his wife, Jane, from the retired community of Knysna, adopted the project by setting up a Day Care facility in a nearby township. That was the establishment of Sinethemba “WE HAVE HOPE” Youth Development Centre.
A leased barren church hall was acquired in Khayalethu from which most of the starving and begging children went to the streets of central Knysna. Over the last 8 years, David has developed the hall into a fully equipped Youth Centre with a trained team of inter-denominational qualified salaried staff. From inception, this Project has been run on accountable business lines.
Already over 150 children have been reintegrated back into mainstream schools and/or back into society. Not only are these youths getting a basic education and day time shelter, but Sinethemba’s primary activities are a means to an end by providing basic skills acquisition for the youth to become self-sufficient in the long term and ultimately employable.