News in South Africa

News in South Africa

Journey for Change






One-of-a Kind Global Youth Service Program Brings At-Risk Youth From Brooklyn New York to Volunteer in Johannesburg, South Africa

(Date TBD) Journey for Change: Empowering Youth Through Global Service is a unique and innovative partnership between The Angelrock Project; The Salvation Army Bushwick Community Center;The Salvation Army South Africa; HOPE worldwide; and The OLIVE LEAF Foundation (HOPE worldwide South Africa at the time of event) that will bring thirty at-risk youth from Bushwick, Brooklyn to Johannesburg, South Africa on July 31, 2008 for two weeks of global service.

The children, ages 12 to 15, will participate in a rich volunteer, educational, and mentoring program.  They will volunteer in Diepsloot and Soweto, helping orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC’s) and grannies in their homes, schools, community centers, gardens, and at clinics.

The youth will be partnered with young adults from HOPE worldwide’s prestigious HOPE Youth Corp who will mentor the children and accompany them on their service projects, as well as lead team building, leadership skills, volunteer follow-up sessions each evening.

Journey for Change: Empowering Youth Through Global Service was born out of the crisis

inner-city youth across America are facing as they enter their teenage years.  Many youth succumb to the pressures facing them, whether it is to drop out of school, get involved in gangs, or use drugs, and we need innovative ways to break this cycle.  Journey for Change: Empowering Youth Through Global Service presents a unique and extraordinary opportunity to thirty such youth from the community of Bushwick in Brooklyn, New York.

Bushwick is an underserved neighborhood in Brooklyn with a population of 100,000 people.  It has consistently struggled to overcome obstacles, such as drug trafficking, a high incidence of child neglect, rising crime rates, and broken families.  Over half of its population lives below the poverty line and receives some form of public assistance.  Only a little over 60% of the students of its largest high school, Bushwick High, graduate in four years. Out of the 289 students that started high school as freshmen in 2002, 91 had out dropped by 2006. 

Due to the crisis also facing OVC’s on the continent of Africa, as well as in the country of South Africa, non-governmental organizations such as The Salvation Army and the OLIVE LEAF Foundation (OLF) are meeting the needs of this population and their families by tackling such necessary issues as health, education, housing, and nutrition.

Through The Angelrock Project’s (whose humanitarian division is run by philanthropic cause-related marketing executive Malaak Compton-Rock and her husband comedian Chris Rock) support of both The Salvation Army and OLF, Journey for Change: Empowering Youth Through Global Service is a special project that will assist youth in the U.S. and South Africa by having them participate in a mutually fulfilling service and exchange program. 

Said Malaak Compton-Rock, “Chris and I have a particular commitment to at-risk youth in Brooklyn, New York, where Chris was raised and in South Africa, where we were introduced to OLF's field work in Diepsloot on an official UNICEF visit three years ago.  Journey for Change: Empowering Youth Through Global Service is an extraordinary opportunity to positively impact the lives of these wonderful children.  We are particularly thankful to the many companies and organizations that embraced this program and made it possible for us, The Salvation Army, and OLF to develop this necessary and vital program.”

There is a rich cultural and recreational component that is being generously sponsored by South African Tourism, headed up by CEO, Moeketsi Mosola.  Facilitating a fulfilling and diverse program, South African Tourism has arranged for many experiences, starting with a bon voyage reception hosted by Sthu Zunga, President, South African Tourism North America.  Other activities include a visit to the Apartheid Museum, Gold Reef City, a tour of Soweto, and a ½ day safari at Pilanesberg National Park, among other activities.  In addition, the U.S. Ambassador to South Africa Eric Bost and Mrs. Bost, along with U.S. Consul-General Steve Coffman will host a reception for the participants in Johannesburg.

We are pleased to announce that award-winning network CNN is filming a documentary on Journey for Change: Empowering Youth Through Global Service hosted by celebrated journalist Soledad O’BrienTime for Kids magazine will also profile the program utilizing the children’s personal stories and photos in their magazine and teacher’s curriculum.  Additionally, the youth will chat and blog daily sending video and pictures to various outlets on (PRODUCT) RED laptops donated byDell.

Upon completion of the trip, the youth will immediately begin their roles as “Journey for Change Global Ambassadors” for one year.  This portion of the program is the beginning of turning the youth into leaders within their own neighborhood, the United States and in the world at large.  It is our goal that through this program that we will create global leaders engaged in civic, political, and social change and who will one day serve as mentors for this program or others in the very near future.  In addition, we will encourage and assist them in continuing their relationship with their new OVC friends and develop a program in which the South African children can also take part in the Global Ambassadorship Program.

Journey for Change: Empowering Youth Through Global Service is a program whose primary goal is to empower children to not only have a vision for their own lives, but to encourage others through their example of living a life of purpose and service. 

News in South Africa

Subscribe to our newsletter

Stay up to date with the work we do by receiving our newsletter.