Some of you will know that Manenberg, South Africa is a community perpetually on the brink of civil war. Gang fights regularly flare up, with shooting in broad daylight, many people killed, and an entire community held hostage by the violence.
Recently Manenberg made the international press for a spike in gang violence, leading to the army being sent in to keep the peace.
Cape Town has a drug and gang pandemic, Manenberg is at the centre of it, and very few seem to know what to do.
The crazy thing is, Tree of Life is the only Manenberg-based organisation offering long-term residential assistance for young men seeking freedom from drug addiction and gangsterism.
We have been running as an NPO for over ten years employing 15 local people, and have a number of volunteers. Our home, called Cru62, currently offers accommodation in a family environment for seven young men at various stages of recovery.
But we have no more space – we are bursting at the seams, and have even had to turn people away who have come to us for help.
All of this means – it’s time to grow!
We have purchased a block of flats across the road, which will enable us to gradually increase the number of young men we can accommodate. Those currently in the program will be able to join the team, mentor the next intake and pass on all they’ve learnt.
The very individuals society has given up on can epitomise and multiply the change Manenberg so desperately needs. It’s already happening on a small scale, but with support we can accelerate and transform even more lives.
It’s no exaggeration to say that your giving to this cause could save lives.
Support the Manenberg flats project today:
Manenberg Flats Crowdfunder campaign.
Pete Portal is 28, from London. After leaving Edinburgh university, he worked in kids TV for CBBC. I left for Cape Town in 2009. Since then, Pete can be found walking the streets of Manenberg, fixated by the vision of seeing the Kingdom break into addicted and violent lives through encounters with Jesus.