Originally from Appelsbosch, Mazisi (also known as ‘Ostrich’) is no stranger to the challenges that face his community, especially for the youth. Appelsbosch is located in the Ilembe district, neighbouring the other partner CAST communities of Noodsberg and Chibini. High rates of teenage pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, and lack of activities and work opportunities keep the youth in this community from realising their potential.
As Ostrich explains, “Most youth from this area are not doing anything. Guys finished with Matric are not going to college. Their mindset is to go straight from Matric to work – that is all they know.”
After attending school in Pietermaritzburg, Ostrich decided to move back to his home community to make a difference. Ostrich is a talented rugby athlete with extensive coaching experience. This year Ostrich joined the CAST Team, and he oversees CAST’s sports teams in the local communities of Appelsbosch, Chibini, and Noodsberg.
Ostrich works from Appelsbosch Baptist Church. An impressive 90 percent of the congregation is made up of young people, ranging from 15-25 years old. Many of the church attendees are from the local college in Appelsbosch, a campus of Coastal KZN TVET College. When George, CAST’s Youth Development Manager, provided two buckets of paint for Appelsbosch Baptist, Ostrich was able to organise these young people to paint the church walls.
Ostrich still faces many challenges in launching a formal Youth Development Programme in Appelsbosch. There are no fields in the area for sport, and Ostrich has struggled to get involved with youth in the schools. However, he remains optimistic and realizes there is a need to meet with community members to build trust – specifically parents of the youth.
Please be in prayer for this exciting new opportunity to reach the youth of Appelsbosch!