In 1999, children living in poor and dysfunctional communities in George, South Africa, started attending Sunday School at a local church. After an investigation, the church set up an informal wooden structure in the township where they lived to feed the children once a week.
Two years later, Philip and Maryna DeVries from the USA accepted the challenge to come to build on this foundation as an NGO, and LIFE Community Services was born. They developed an outreach programme and mobilized local and overseas churches, foundations, businesses and individuals to assist communities suffering deprivation.
George is an area that has a high TB death rate, AIDS crisis, a high per capita alcohol abuse problem, and an escalating divorce rate. Through the implementation of community focussed programmes, LIFE began to successfully tackle these social concerns.
LIFE was registered as a Non-Profit Organisation in March 2001 and in 2008 as a Public Benefit Organisation.
Children growing up in South Africa’s poorest communities are faced with many challenges, including broken homes, high young unemployment and a failing education system. We are taking a holistic approach to directly tackle these social concerns.
Life Community Services - What We Do
At LIFE, we reach more than 4000 orphaned and vulnerable children each week (aged 0-18) through dynamic intervention programmes. These programmes have been designed to tackle many of the crises these young people face growing up in some of South Africa’s poorest communities.
We believe in working at the very heart of the communities that we serve. That is why we have strategically positioned centres in 8 of the area’s neediest communities. From here, we provide children with educational support, ministry and a meal every day.
In South Africa, many children are failed by an overstretched education system. This often leads to them either failing to achieve the necessary grades to access post-school opportunities or dropping out of school altogether. Our Bible-based education programmes ensure children get the best possible start in life.
We have developed a number of programmes to tackle the alarmingly high-levels of youth unemployment in the area. These include life skills training and a job creation project called ISIPHO.