Good Vibes Hotline: Corona Relief 4 Ikasi Youth

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We're all in this together

In South Africa the Coronavirus is hitting us now more than ever, but we’ll get through this with a little positivity and solidarity. That is why we created the Good Vibes Hotline. We hope our Good Vibes put a smile on your face :) 
If so, please help us raise 30k to support our 30 families through the pandemic.
Stay safe and stay positive.

The Ikasi Youth

Learn more about Ikasi Youth & how we will use donations
(5 min read)

Ikasi Youth  is a small charity based in a township community in Cape Town, South Africa. Their mission is to empower young people in their community
 by teaching them important leadership and life skills, helping improve their academic education and offering a safe space after school away from the challenges of township life (gangs, crime and drug abuse).

Ikasi Youth currently supports 30 young people (between the ages of 13-23) from low income families. Like all of us they have been hit by Covid-19, except when you live in a poor township, life during lockdown is about a different kind of survival. Many of their parents have lost employment and are now struggling to cover their essential family expenses.  Without their regular income, they don’t have enough money to buy their children food or afford winter clothing (and it’s winter there now!). They struggle to keep their electricity on or buy mobile data so their kids can keep up with digital school. 

The social distancing and hygiene guidelines recommended to keep communities safe are nearly impossible in townships like Imizamo Yethu. Even simple steps like regular hand-washing is a challenge without access to clean water, toilets, soap and hand sanitiser. A lack of face-masks makes keeping safe all the more difficult. 

With your support, we aim to raise €30,000 (which is enough to help see our 30 families through until Christmas). We know it’s a hard time for everyone right now, but for this community, the challenges of COVID-19 are even more acute. Please help us if you can - and if you can’t give, help us share this page. 


Ikasi Youth is a small charity located in Imizamo Yethu, a 33.600 strong township community outside of Cape Town, South Africa. The charity was founded 7 years ago by Nathan Roberts, a young and ambitious South African entrepreneur. His dad, a pastor, was running a rare multiracial church during apartheid. Nathan grew up around many inspiring young people from the townships and soon understood that, beyond their daily struggles, they had incredible dreams that could change their communities. He also grew up with the belief that everyone can change the lives of other people, if only you are committed enough. One of the first people he helped was a boy from Imizamo Yethu, whose dream it was to become a chef (but he was illiterate at the time). So Nathan helped him build and run his own restaurant in the township and together they turned his dream into reality. That’s when he decided: if I can help change the life of one person, I can probably help many more. Ikasi Youth was born.

Nathan started Ikasi Youth with one clear mission: to empower township youth to take control of their lives and change them for the better. Ikasi Youth has been working hard at doing that ever since. They do this by giving township youth access to additional education through the after-school programs. They offer life skills programs focussed on discovering young people’s dreams, strengths and talents. They teach them how to believe in themselves and show them they have the power to not only change their own lives - but also those of the people in their community. And lastly they offer them a safe space to spend time after school, with mentors that care about them, listen to them and support them through their everyday hardships. Ikasi Youth has grown to a small, passionate team of 4 local staff (and a few interns) in Cape Town and is working closely to support 30 young people currently between the ages of 13-23. The team desires to empower even more young people, and to do so they partner with other youth organisations in the Western Cape, offering their training and learning materials to them so that they can impact the lives of hundreds of youth across many other communities.

Lockdown has hit us all hard, but people living in South African townships have been hit even harder than most. As has been the case around the world, many of their parents have lost their income. But to them, this means real, immediate and sometimes life threatening hardship. Parents struggle to buy their children food or basic necessities. Many can’t pay rent and electricity, which means now, in winter time, not being able to keep warm. Girls have to go without sanitary products for weeks. Children can’t attend school digitally, because they don’t have smartphones, laptops or enough mobile data to download lessons. Within the township it is nearly impossible to practice social distancing when your neighbours’ front door is less than 1 meter away from your own and you sometimes share your home with 8 or more people. Many parts of these communities lack important hygiene infrastructure such as proper water supply, enough toilets, a sewage system and access to sanitisers, face-masks or soap. In short: They lack the very basics, while many of us just lack the comforts we are so used to. Any donation you make to our relief efforts will help reduce this burden.


To help 30 families survive (and hopefully thrive), we ONLY have to raise 30.000 Euros. 1.000 Euros per family for 6 months! That’s how much a township family needs to move out of suffering into a space of possibility again. But: we have to raise it fast, because many families go hungry, Corona is spreading and the inequality gap is widening every day as a result. 30.000 Euro might not feel like a huge amount in the big scheme of things, but for these families it is important we do all that we can to raise it. In times like these, it is easy for us to see how a bit of kindness and goodwill can go a long way. In times like these, people who’d otherwise be willing to give, are holding on to what they have because of uncertainty. In times, when at every corner of real life or online, someone is asking someone to give something or do something. All we can say is: our lockdown will eventually pass. But these families and kids will still experience feeling locked down in the realities of township life, even when Corona is over. Let's do what we can to relieve this suffering. So, if you can afford to then please give and offer these kids a chance to pick up their dreams, once this global pandemic is over. If you can’t donate, you can make a difference by sharing this campaign with your network.

The Ikasi Youth team on the ground is running monthly surveys with all 30 families to determine their current needs and how to best allocate your funds to have maximum impact. Depending on family situation and income the list of items the families need most are the following:

48175548_1591717472650373_r.jpegThe total amount we need to cover the families’ basic needs for 6 months is €30,922.

The following calculations are based on families of 4 to simplify our giving suggestions. 

48175548_1591787141800391_r.jpegGIVE, IF YOU CAN. HELP KEEP PEOPLE AND THEIR DREAMS ALIVE. 

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* The items will be distributed to the families based on urgency. Additionally, we will direct the donations towards what the families need most, including some items that aren’t listed above, for example (but not limited to) emergency rent payments or medical needs. Of the amount donated, a maximum of 20% will be directed towards operations and paying local team members, interns and other helpers on the ground for their services (during and following this relief effort).

**Any amount raised in excess of the stated fundraising target will go towards running programs to support these youth and other township youth just like them, in the months and years to come.

*** Even if lockdown restrictions should relax in the months to follow, the economic impact is expected to last well into December . To make sure our families can stand on their own feet again after Covid-19, we have decided to try and support them until the end of the year.



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Lena A Matsuda 
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