This month Joel Smucker from Percy Bartley House pens down what it is they do for young men in Cape Town:
I have been involved with Percy Bartley House for 6 years, first as a volunteer and in the last 2 years as a board member. I have learned that one of the biggest needs of young men at Percy Bartley House and in South Africa as a whole is for positive role models that believe in them. This is especially true for boys who do not have parents that are emotionally available and/or involved in their everyday lives or for boys that grow up in toxic neighborhoods that are rife with violence, gangsterism, and drug abuse where, too often, the default course of their life is that which they grew up around. They will become part of this negative generational cycle unless something exceptional happens that gives them a better path of life - that something exceptional is often an adult that seeks to bring out the best in them.
Boys are seeking relevance. They want to matter. They are looking for identity. They are looking for heroes that they can look up to and emulate, and one thing is for certain, they will find those heroes, those strong adults that they can latch onto. If we do not provide them with positive heroes, they will find negative ones. Men of character do not happen automatically, someone has to instill that character. At Percy Bartley House we seek to provide a stable home with caring adults that can guide the boys and exemplify what well-adjusted, responsible, adulthood looks like.
I encourage anyone that would like to see a better South Africa in the future to invest in the lives of our young people. Every child is born with a clean slate and from birth, they are shaped by the world around them. If you want to change your country, help shape the young people around you in a positive way, either by giving of your time or financially supporting people or organizations that give of their time. Such an investment will positively affect these young people for the rest of their lives, and they, in turn, will make this world a better place.
It takes a considerable amount of finances to operate Percy Bartley House and while there is some government funding available we also rely heavily on private donations.
We at Percy Bartley House want to sincerely thank IIWC for your financial support over the years, without that support we could not have continued running our organization. Your generosity and trust mean so much to us. May God Bless you.
Percy Bartley House