Breadline Africa and the Salesian Institute Youth Projects (S.I.Y.P.) share a long history – and space – as the organisation is located in the building owned and in use by S.I.Y.P. S.I.Y.P. did not have a dedicated library, but it did have a shady spot in the corner of the premises, which has proved to be an ideal location for one of Breadline Africa’s container library solutions.
“We hope that the new outdoor container library will help foster an excitement and interest in reading. The children now have an opportunity to start reading groups and establish the beginnings of a lifelong-learning,” said Henk Kleizen Breadline Africa’s Chairman, at the official launch event, which took place on 17 November 2017.
The launch was attended by S.I.Y.P.’s CEO, Mr Hilton Nyirenda, and Father Patrick Naughton, the organisation’s former CEO, along with board members from both Breadline Africa and S.I.Y.P.
The Salesian Institute Youth Projects (S.I.Y.P.), which was established in Cape Town in 1896, prioritises education and skills training, with projects helping to support youth to be productive and successful adults. Its Learn to Live School of Skills provides skills training and basic education to youth at risk who, due to socio-economic circumstances, cannot cope in mainstream schooling. The school currently has a total of 220 children, aged 14 to 19 years.
After an excellent rendition of the national anthem, the children listened with interest to special guest, Arafat Gatabazi, who shared his personal story. Arafat fled his home in the war-torn Democratic The Republic of Congo and, on arriving in South Africa, lived at the Homestead Street Children’s Shelter, which works closely with S.I.Y.P. Arafat developed a passion for open-water swimming, and regularly undertakes arduous swims to raise funds for local charities. In his address, Arafat emphasised that everyone has the potential to succeed and expressed the hope that his story would inspire young people to make a difference in the lives of others.
The library was made possible through the generosity of Breadline Africa’s donors, and international
trustee, Mr Peter Attard-Montalto also contributed toward the purchase of new library books.