Lynedoch Youth

Ecological learning for sustainability means using multi-pronged approaches to offer spaces for creativity to emerge - for the unexpected to blossom and for children to find their paths in ways that generate hope. 

The youth programme seeks to support and inspire youth to choose positive life paths, and discover their full potential through education, fun and nature in a nurturing and creative environment. Our approach to creating spaces at Lynedoch includes using nature as our teacher, engaging in issues of sustainability, encouraging a broader world view, and helping youth develop a passion through dedication and persistence.

Lynedoch United Football Club

Lynedoch United Football Club

40 youth are members of the Lynedoch United Football club, meeting twice a week for training, and taking part in matches in the Stellenbosch LFA over weekends. We also have a senior soccer team with 23 members. We compete in the Promotional League which is managed by SAFA Cape Winelands.

Karate programme

Karate programme

This programme is held by Sensei Tony Edwards, taking place during school hours. “Kushido is an international karate system that was founded in South Africa in 1963. Classes concentrate on developing self-defense skills and true Martial Art characteristics within the practitioner that include: a healthy body and mind, discipline, focus and respect”.

Youth Hub

Youth Hub

The Youth Hub has been established to create an effective and holistic intervention point for school going youth and young adults in the Lynedoch Valley. Through the hub we seek to instil responsibility to self, environment and community, a proactive role in their own lives, a thirst for knowledge, a positive work ethic, freedom and fun within limits and a sense of belonging. Our high school learner interventions include the provision of strong academic support in order for them to complete their schooling, as well as providing information on opportunities available to them after high school. The Youth Hub is a safe and fun space where the youth can come together to build positive relationships and secure support and acknowledgement. The hub is also a formal space that gives the youth access to various forms of technology.

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Stories to Celebrate

Alistair Blankenberg (23) grew up in rural Vlaeberg outside of Stellenbosch, a community facing lots of challenges including domestic violence, lack of housing, high levels of teenage pregnancies, high school drop outs, lack of proper access to water and electricity, neglected and malnourished children. Alastair’s chronically ill father raised Alastair on his own after his mother passed away. When CHANGES Aftercare started, Alistair was one of the first to join the group and he was able to access assistance with personal issues at home and particularly with math homework, and legal assistance to follow up on accessing a family social security grant. Today Alistair is a role model to our young ones from the community. He works at Spark (our on-site private school) and we love that Alistair chose to give back to his community to inspire others. Alistair is a true life success story of courage and perseverance.

Athalia Hlahatsi (22) grew up in the Lynedoch Valley, attending Lynedoch Primary School. Athalia is the oldest of two. Her younger sister attends our on-site primary school, Spark.

Athalia attended CHANGES youth for many years. A few years ago, along with Daniel Nero, she went to London after winning a competition run by the Institute in conjunction with the Lexi Cinema. After high school she worked as aftercare facilitator at the SI, interacting with our local youth on a daily basis. In 2016 Athalia enrolled at Boland College and with financial help from the Lexi Cinema, Athalia could pay her study fees and pursue her studies in hospitality. She visits often and has even done one or two assignments on our local Green Cafè.

Firstun Booysen (15) grew up on a local farm close to the Institute. He struggled with mainstream education but is very skilled with his hands and wood work. The SI enrolled him at a skills school in Tulbach and today he is thriving. He says that it’s a great feeling to be doing what you love. He often comes home to show us what he has been up to. He has done some amazing work, making wooden trays for our on-site Green Cafe and helping in the garden, where some of the trees he planted beautifully reflects his growth journey. Over the weekend he likes to keep himself busy by helping our local football club and coaching the younger boys teams. We see a bright future for this young man.