Fighting Fatherlessness, One Step at a Time


Determined, committed and consistent, Michael Pieterse is faithful to any goal he pursues.  Comrades has always been on Michael’s bucket list, so when he decided in March 2015 to prepare for Comrades in 2016, he knew it would be his biggest challenge yet.

With the help of a coach, Michael has been training and building up to qualify at the Deloitte Challenge this year.  Everything was going well until last month when Michael had a serious bike accident and injured his arm.  He was unable to train for six weeks.  However, he has been gradually easing back into training as he gains more mobility of his arm.

Michael is no stranger to facing obstacles.  Growing up with a dad who battled with alcohol abuse, Michael learned how to take care of himself from an early age.  He paid for his own education and was forced to become a man without the guidance of a father-figure.  Despite the challenges, Michael learned to have confidence in himself because of his relationship with God.  He discovered that God was his Father, and with that confidence Michael learned to dream big about his life.

Michael is passionate about fighting fatherlessness and helping boys discover what it means to be a man.  As a result, he has decided to run Comrades to raise support for CAST’s 2016 Boys2Men Camp, 30 Sept. – 3 Oct.

This camp came about as a response to the overwhelming need for father-figures in the lives of young men involved with CAST’s Youth Development Programme.  The initial camp took place in November 2010, and the aim of the camp was to give the boys a real father-figure experience. During camp we discovered that 75 percent of the boys in attendance did not have real fathers in their lives. There was a desperate need for guidance, advice, affirmation, and a way for young men to discover their identity. Boys also had an overwhelming spiritual need as most of them did not grow up in Christian homes.

Since 2010, we have hosted Boys2Men Camp annually, and more than 400 boys have had the chance to attend. It has become one of the most impactful short-term programmes at CAST, even attracting international volunteers. Boys2Men’s focus has become transforming boys to men. Every year we have seen many young people give their lives to Jesus. The ongoing sports programme has provided continuing discipleship for the boys and our community churches have also become instrumental in providing spiritual homes for the boys.

As Michael explains,”Running Comrades means nothing unless you do it for something worthy.  Why not use it to change someone’s life for eternity?  I want to help a few boys discover God as their Father.”

Michael wants to send 20 boys to camp (camp costs R350 per boy), and in order to reach this goal of raising R7000, we need your help!  If you are interested in getting involved, here’s how:

  1. You can give R4 per kilometre that Michael runs.  If Michael finishes the entire 90 km race, you will have raised enough support for a boy to attend camp!
  2. You can also give R4 per kilometre that Michael runs for the distance of a marathon (42 km), which is about half of Comrades (R168).

If you would like more information, please contact George Mwaura at: george@cast.org.za

If you want to give directly by EFT or Givengain here are our details:

Nedbank, Branch: Westville Mall/138026

Account: CAST Trust, No: 101 7717 672

Givengain: https://www.givengain.com/cause/4933/campaigns/16861