The Seven Passes Initiative is a community based organisation committed to building a safe community with opportunities for young people and their families in the Hoekwil and Touwsranten area.
We are located in a rural area, 30km outside George.
Our after school care centre supports the education of children and young people through classes which improve numeracy, literacy, self confidence and other educational outcomes.
We also offer learners a safe space for activities like sport, music, arts and gardening.
Programmes at the after school centre run daily during the school term and in holiday times we have fun-filled activities which are open to all the children from the Touwsranten community and the adjacent farming communities.
When we become aware of high risk children or when families are identified as needing support or intervention, we offer therapeutic programmes.
The Seven Passes Initiative was established in 2008 by commercial farmers and members of the community of Touwsranten / Hoekwil who were concerned by gang related activity on farms. A number of factors contributed to the increase in gang involvement by the youth, including:
• Boredom caused by an absence of interesting or stimulating activities
• Absence of adult or parental supervision during daytimes and weekends
• Absence of positive role models
• Children were struggling at school and were not able to get adequate supervision of their homework, this led to low self-esteem and a loss of hope for the future or lack of positive ambition
The Initiative focuses on supporting, facilitating and developing the education of children in the area through providing after school activities that foster a sense of belonging and fun as well as build life skills. The aim of our homework classes is:
• Create the conditions where children can achieve better at school
• Assist young people to develop long term goals and provide opportunities for them to realise these goals
• Provide positive role models for young people
• Reduce the risk of violent victimisation
• Create opportunities for young people and to encourage them to recognise and take advantage of those opportunities
• Facilitate developmental and therapeutic processes with children and families at risk
The developmental and therapeutic programmes are an extension of the education program but works on a deeper and therapeutic level to promote:
• Positive self image
• Processing trauma
• Understanding emotions
• Building relationships
During 2016 we will also be working in conjunction with the University of Cape Town and the Institute for Security Studies in providing four programmes to promote positive parenting. The focus will be on the four stages of a child’s life, starting with pregnancy through to the teenage years.
The programmes will therefore play a crucial role in helping parents and children to form warm, loving bond as well as teaching constructive communication.