Raising Young Men We Can Look Up To
Helping Boys never doubt that they are Valuable & Powerful
With a deep belief in the transforming power of God, Beth Uriel, “House of Light”, aims to provide young men from impoverished communities the chance to pursue meaningful, independent lives through a supportive living environment, connections to educational opportunities, positive social alternatives and life skill training.
Statistics show that youth (age 18 to 35) make up over half of the population in the Western Cape. Faced with enormous challenges around unemployment (well over 33%), low matric pass rates (only 1 in 2 learners make it to grade 12) and family dysfunction (fatherless or child headed homes), young men throughout the Cape are provided with very few opportunities that cultivate hope or any real sense of purpose. Our 24 bed independent living facility in Salt River aims to address the above issues by “raising young men to look up to”- making its resources available to previously disadvantaged young men between the ages of 18 and 24
(Re)integration into school and academic support is one of the primary concerns of Beth Uriel. The home is there to provide the boys with an environment that is safe for them to study and encourages all of them to (re)enter schools, depending on whether they have stayed out of school at one point for a period of time or are in school already. Since the home accommodates young men from different ages, there are students who are still in high school and also college students. One of the primary goals in education is for all these young men to get their matric certificate.
LIFE SKILLS AND JOB READINESS
Another pillar for preparation for independent living are life skills. First of all the program seeks to sort out the young men's paperwork (ID-papers, birth certificate, passport) since in most cases these papers either do not exist or have been lost somewhere in time. Beth Uriel also helps the young men with setting up a bank account, creating a CV to find a job and getting their learners and drivers license. Beth Uriel provides the boys with all necessary life skills that prepare you to make a working living. The young men themselves can identify their primary goals and needs in the Independent Development Plan (IDP). These are conversations conducted by volunteers or staff with the boys to identify their problems, goals and needs.
Not all the boys in the home have relatives (in the vicinity). But for those who do have relatives, the final part of growing these young men into independence is to try and (re)connect them with their family (if they have been out of touch or separated for some reason). For boys who do have family in Cape Town it is allowed to visit them once a month on their weekend sign-out.
Come join us
We need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as men and take the lead.
We organize Barista training for the Boys
A great career opportunity for the boys here at Beth Uriel is barista training. With this, some young men who cannot go to school due to age or paperwork hereby get a chance to make a career out of making coffee and use all their learnt skills in the future. The coffeeshop at Beth Uriel, Mekasi Kafe, is being managed completely by the boys themselves and the profits go to the home. The young men who work at the coffeeshop get barista training to become certified baristas. They can put these certificates and also their work experience at Mekasi Kafe in their CV. It is also a great opportunity for them to develop their hospitality skills. The coffee machine and the till are professional equipment and of the same standard as those used in big coffeeshops, restaurants and bars. When looking for a job as a barista these young men already have an advantage because of their familiarity with the coffeemaking process and the machinery, and hospitality skills.
Mekasi Kafe also functions as a “businesscard” to Beth Uriel. It is a great place to welcome visitors such as tourist groups and local coffee lovers. The profits made by Mekasi Kafe goes directly to the home. By buying coffee or merchandise products (such as t-shirts, hoodies, laptop bags, jewelry) visitors are actually contributing to these young men’s futures. But most importantly, Mekasi Kafe is about training and giving interested youth an opportunity to learn the art and sought after skill of coffeemaking and possibly pursuing a career in this field.