The Strand Programme started in 2003 when Lionel Arnolds and others began a mentorship programme. Most of Hearts Of Men’s current leadership stems from the Strand program, which is also the current hub of most of Hearts Of Men’s activities. The headquarters of Hearts Of Men is also situated in the Strand. It was from the Strand where most of the current expantion took place which went out to the Overberg and Langeberg regions of the Western Cape. The programme in the Strand is going to greater strengths and is still producing leaders.

The Golden Gate Programme in Bonteheuwel was a three year Manhood mentorship programme. After this three year cycle, under the guidance of Nolan Abrahams, the work continued focussing on supporting students in the Klipfontein primary school with literacy and life skills. A Youth Group was also established, as well as parent support sessions. Following the identification for the need to develop a teenage support programme, a specifically designed intervention in life skills was run. Similar programmes have also been run in the neighbourhoods of Kalksteenfontein (one year), Blue Gum (six months) and at Modderdam High School (one year).

The South Peninsula Programme in Ottery East/Elsies River/Lotus River ran for three years under the guidance of Des Van Niekerk.  The work continued under the guidance of Solomon Marlow, with students from three primary schools participating. There was also an intervention for children in the community, which included a weekly soccer tournament.

The Michael Oak School ‘Coming of Age’ Programme has entered its ninth year guided by Nic Fine. Annually 25 Grade Ten students and 50 parents/adults enter the programme. There has been a number of parents trained on the facilitation team, indicating future sustainability. This programme, based in Kenilworth, is supported by Hearts of Men staff and volunteers. Funding is sourced by the school and parents.

The ‘Warriors for Peace’ Programme was a collaborative intervention between Hearts of Men, Direct Action Centre for Peace and Memory, and The Trauma Centre. Working with former combatants, two programmes were facilitated during 2007. This intervention arose as a result of a commitment from Hearts of Men to work with Xhosa-speaking participants. A participant, Mzwabantu Noji, began developing a community-based programme in Gugulethu during 2009.

The Monteith Trust Programme in Grabouw began in 2009. Hearts of Men was approached and requested to undertake a three-year community-building intervention, working with men, young men and boys on the four farms which form the Trust. We also started a women’s programme which is led by Vanecia Briesies and Celeste Stuurman. Incorporated into the womens programme however is also  a youth intervention and development plan looking at the development of all youth on the Monteith farms.

The Beck Development Trust Programme in Robertson began in 2009. Hearts of Men was requested to undertake a five-month research and relationship building process as the first part of a three-year commitment to working on the four farms that make up the Graeme Beck Trust Farms. We have since also touched other farms in the area. Our community leader there is Faiz Neetling.

The Sir Lowry’s Pass Community Programme started in 2010  with 11 men and is growing steadily. We split the Fatherhood and youth programmes to specifically cater to the needs of each group. The Sir Lowry’s Pass programme was later incorporated into the Strand area, but now is yet again a fully fledged programme on its own, with its own local leaders.

The Villiersdorp/Vyeboom/Nuweberg Programme started in February 2011. We started with 17 particapants which included younger and older men. This was a fatherhood programme and it is growing steadily. Our community leader there was Norman Wilson who became a staffmember of Hearts Of Men.

The Ashton Community Programme was started in February 2011. It came about because one very ethusiastic community worker, John Petersen, who attended our sessions in Robertson. He felt so positive towards the content of our programmes that he made himself available to be trained as a facilitator and to be part of starting a men’s circle in Aston. The programme is growing from strength to strength.

The Bonnievale programme strarted in middle 2011, and is currently being guided by Geduld Veldsman who is our  staff representative there.


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