The Khayelitsha Project

Khayelitshe-web-graphic copy11Khayelitsha Then and Now

Khayelitsha is a township in Western Cape, South Africa, located on the Cape Flats in the City of Cape Town. It is the largest and fastest growing township in South Africa. Originally, it was established as an “apartheid dumping ground” in the mid 80’s as a part of the “Group Areas Act”. In the last ten years the population has risen from 400,000 to 2.4 million, 50% of which are under 19 years of age. Unemployment rate is 73%, with 70% living in shacks. 89% of homes are considered moderately to severely food insecure. The extreme poverty, coupled with poor community infrastructure, lead to immense crime rates, gangs, violence, drugs as well as other societal ills.


Khayelitsha is the murder capital of South Africa. Attempted murder increased by close to 30% in 2012/13. The Khayelitsha police say they deal with an average of four murders every weekend. During the 2011/12 and 2012/13 financial years, “policeable” crimes such as common and aggravated robberies, increased by 50% in the greater Khayelitsha area.


Living Conditions

  • SHACKS  – The conditions of the shacks are pitiful; mostly made of timber and sheet metal. They are built very close together so fires are a constant problem and can spread quickly.
  • SANITATION – Standpipes and toilet sanitary units provide only a small part of the squatter areas with the urgently needed services. Often there are occurring leakages in the system which are mostly only removed within 2 weeks, causing steady overflows in the streets. Poor sanitation can lead to the spread of disease. Many people get robbed while walking to communal toilets or to the bushes at night to relieve themselves.
  • WATER/FOOD – More than half of the dwellings are left without any water. One in 3 people has to walk 200 meters or further just to access water.  Food is sold between the shacks. Without cooling and constantly exposed to flies, the meat lies on bare tables in the scorching sun.
  • INFRASTRUCTUREServices are poor and public transport is limited. The lack of electricity leads to the illegal extension of existing electricity circuits and can be dangerous.
  • OVERCROWDING/OVERPOPULATION – The settlement has a high population density and not enough resources to support the growing population. This, coupled with lack of security, provides perfect conditions for theft and robberies.
  • COMPETITION FOR JOBS – Jobs are in short supply.


Phase One of The Khayelitsha Project

In the year leading up to the 2015 Comrades Marathon, Bob trained and raised support for each of the 56 miles that he would cover on May 31, 2015. The initial goal was to raise $2,000 per mile, totaling $112,000. The actual amount raised ending up exceeding that goal, totaling over $130,000.

With these funds raised, we have been partnering with Cape Missions International to construct a Community Center in the heart of Khayelitsha. This center will house a church, clinic, pre-school and feeding center. Oversight of the center will be under the leadership of Pastor Victor Valayshia and his team.

In addition to the material project of the Community Center, we are collaborating with Celebrate Life South Africa to fund the Teach One to Lead One (T1L1) leadership development program. This proven program is aimed at raising up the next generation of leaders to reverse the downward spiral of poverty and injustice. To date, T1L1 has trained and certified mentors who are equipped and empowered to reach the at-risk youth for generations to come. They have engaged school administrators, educators and faith community leaders and have created an awareness of the need for the community to come together to be a solution center thru T1L1 for the challenges they face. T1L1 have also been translating their curriculum into Xhosa and Afrikan languages.

Phase Two of The Khayelitsha Project

We want to help further and expand the impact of the work in Khayelisha. This will include continued translation of the T1L1 curriculum into other languages, satellite sites and/or staffing to take things to the next level and bringing the T1L1 leadership development programs to many of the schools in the Khayelitsha area. Our desire is to partner in a way that is sustainable and healthy without creating a co-dependent relationship.

“We must recognize the power of the ‘ought’. It’s the power to change the world! We can’t just see the world in terms of how it is today, or we will always feel defeated. But when we see the world in terms of how things ought to be, we can dream for the impossible – and work to see it become reality.” – Max Kampelman

kids on car

“I do not run like a man running aimlessly.” 1 Corinthians 9:26