Thursday, 23 June 2011


Hello Faithful Followers!

While this post might not be quite as funny or action packed as my last, I hope all of you still find it interesting and can give me some fun ideas and/or advice.  I hope that the Staters out there can think of this as an R&D discussion of sorts, and for my non-Stater following this means throw any idea you can think of at me--R&D (Research and Development) is just a big brainstorm session.  I think I'll write this is Scope Report format :)

Background: The Youth Justice Programme, also known as the Street Kids Program, is a collaboration between the YMCA and Youth For Christ here in Pietermaritzburg.  Its function is to provide community for homeless boys (ages aprox. 12-20) by letting them play soccer together, take a hot shower, and eat a free meal at the YMCA two days a week.

Project Title: Cleats for Kids from the Streets or YMCA Helping Kids Play (I will accept votes for your favorite)

The Goal:  The goal of the projectt Cleats for Kids from the Streets or YMCA Helping Kids Play is to  discover and implement sustainable fundraising practices to fund the current YMCA Youth Justice Programme.  The short term goal for use of these funds is to purchase soccer cleats and/or uniforms for the participants to use or have these items donated.

The Vision: The vision of this project is not yet fully developed and I will still be accepting suggestions for other possibilities, but this is what I have so far:

Option 1: In option one, the children and young adults of the YMCA would create crafts (perhaps woven bracelets?) to sell.  I am in contact with high schools and YMCAs in Cincinnati who might be interested in selling these in the US and sending the money back to South Africa.  In addition, the bracelets could be sold at the South African YMCAs in tourist locations such as Cape Town and Durban.  Pros: the YMCA participants learn a skill, are earning the money, it is a sustainable effort, and it can open up partnerships with other groups and organizations.  Cons: Pietermaritzburg is a smaller city without many tourists so it would not be a local effort, supplies for the bracelets would have to be purchased, and children who make the bracelets from other programs, such as the Y-Zone, who are not directly benefiting from making the bracelets might not be willing to make them.

Option 2: In option two, the YMCA would pursue relationships with local businesses to sponsor the team.  This option would be organized much more by the local staff of the YMCA than by myself.  Pros: It is a local effort, it will open up a relationship between the Y and these sponsors, and the companies will benefit from advertising on the shirts, etc. (maybe they would consider hiring some of the street kids at some point??).  Cons: Some businesses might just want to do a one-time donation and I do not know the likelihood of South African businesses agreeing to this.

Option 3: In option three I would simply organize annual collections at Cincinnati area high schools to support the program.  Pros: I already have relationship with high schools, it is easy. Cons: It will take longer, it is not sustainable.

The Plan:  I guess I'll need to choose an option and make sure the YMCA and YFC staff members support the vision before I create a timeline.

Why You Should Give Me Feedback:  You are all brainstorming geniuses.

The Budget: For option one: Initial cost of supplies for bracelets and cost of shipping bracelets to US or other YMCA locations.

Potential Sources: McAuley High School, LaSalle High School, St. Xaivier High School, The Archdiocese of Cincinnati, YMCAs of Greater Cincinnati, Local Businesses

Not exactly a proper Scope, but it'll do.

So, give me your ideas, thoughts, feedback in the comments section or via email ( can't wait to hear it!  Also, if you know any famous soccer players (or maybe I could work out a relationship with the OSU teams?), let me know.  Feel free to ask any questions!  I am having a meeting about this with the organizers of the Youth Justice program tomorrow, so I'm sure I will have more information then.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Shanny!

    I'm so excited about what you're doing, you have no idea. Lots of people take a "bar trip" after the bar exam because...well I guess they think they deserve it. My friends & I were discussing a trip & now all I want to do is come to South Africa & work at the YMCA with you!

    Just a quick thought before I get back to studying - you could potentially combine options 1 & 2 by having local businesses donate supplies (or funds) for the bracelet making & then use those to fundraise. For that matter, you could also raise funds in Cincinnati for supplies or to supplement the bracelet making project. I propose the idea because each option is great for a different reason. I think getting the kids involved in the fundraising effort could be a really positive thing for them. It will allow them to feel like they have some value, get them more invested in the program, and provide them with the opportunity to do something positive about their situation & see that they CAN do something about it. Additionally, it seems like getting local businesses involved would be a healthy step in the right direction for race relations & bridging the gap between the gainfully employed & the children that need their help. The benefits to the Cincinnati high schools is obviousespecially if they actually learned about the SA culture, race relations, etc & would perhaps someday be interested in following in your shoes. I would only add that you might consider extending your efforts beyond the Catholic schools. I know they're great, but tapping into other resouces & allowing the kids at those schools to get involved can't be a bad thing. One last thing: you might consider letting the kids on the team be involved in the naming process. That might be a fun way to introduce the program to them & get them more hyped up about it from the get-go.

    Okay, I'm done! Sorry that got a little long. Can you tell I miss being a social worker?? Haha:)

    Keep up the awesome work, babe. I'm so proud of you & very excited to have another Flynn activist;)

    Love ya!