The Foundation for a Safe South Africa (FSSA) was founded in 2009, with the aim of investing in youth to reduce crime in a proactive manner by providing better opportunities to the youth of South Africa. The belief was that crime as a viable option for young people should be addressed in a proactive manner, which implies providing better choices to young people as well as the skills and connections to explore such choices. Under the leadership of Mr Roelf Meyer, FSSA launched the Youthzones programme.
Once FSSA started engaging communities through the Youthzones initiative, the network grew rapidly. Youthzones were organized around principles of ownership and asset-based community development. Although Youthzones started in eleven areas, the programme did not just survive and showed sustainability, but expanded to 43 Youthzones today! There are currently 330 football and netball teams involved, from the most disadvantaged geographies across the country, benefitting over 53 000 individuals.
Youthzones is about the youth doing it for themselves, Youthzones as an organization supports youths with the tools, skills and equipment, but the way to create positive change is to awaken dignity and choice alternatives, rather than expert-based top-down interventions. Youthzones use the slogan walala wasala to emphasize agency.
FSSA is of the opinion that the Youthzones programme indeed provides hope and dignity to young previously disadvantaged youths of both genders. The Youthzones programme above all else give youths a chance to once again believe in themselves and to pursue their dreams.
Aim: Our raison d'être is to assist the poorest of the poor to take ownership of their lives and contribute positively to their communities; thereby making South Africa a safe and healthy society.
Vision & Mission: The overall vision of Youthzones is to provide tangible opportunities that will give South African youths the freedom to choose the lives that they want to live.
This vision is pursued through our Mission:
The establishment of a peer network where youths give each other hope and pride though leadership.
Values: For Youthzones it is not just important what the youth achieve, but how they achieve it. The process is as important as the desired goal.
It takes time to create real change, that's why our slogan is Kuthatha Isikhathi - it takes time.