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Soccer Boots for All

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Everyone loves buying a new pair of shoes!  In fact, just trying on new shoes can make your day better.

Last month the youth involved with CAST’s soccer teams in Noodsberg and Chibini received their own brand new shoes and socks.  For some of them it was their very first pair of new soccer boots.  CAST was only able to provide this gift through a generous donation from Community Chest.

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Over the last five years, CAST has seen a tremendous growth in the amount of youth involved with our rural soccer teams.  Our biggest challenge has been to provide the teams with soccer boots.  In the past, we relied on second hand donated shoes which were a challenge to find, and therefore most of the players didn’t have proper soccer boots, or played with no boots at all. The majority of the participants come from poor households and could not raise R600 ($44) for a new pair of soccer boots that would actually last more than just a few months.

The teenagers we work with oftentimes have low self-esteem. We have noticed whenever we attend games, coming from a poor community, most players feel embarrassed wearing worn out shoes.  The new soccer boots have boosted their self-esteem as they are able to play comfortably and with pride.  Also, the new soccer boots protect players’ feet from being injured by thorns in the ground.

In CAST’s Youth Development Programme, we believe in empowering youth to become resilient, so they are able to overcome challenges and provide solutions in their own communities.  By building the self-esteem of youth, they are able to stand up and make a positive impact in their communities.

To find out more about how you can impact the life of a young person through CAST, please contact George Mwaura at: george@cast.org.za

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Masizi

12195802_1188304421183504_5589071048918714410_nLast year Masizi Ostrich joined the CAST team as a Youth Development Intern in the rural community of Appelsbosch.  An experienced rugby player, Masizi played for the Midlands Rugby Academy.  Masizi first became passionate about development work after he started coaching rugby.  Many of the kids he coached didn’t have kits and battled with tough home lives.

However, everything changed when Masizi was injured and returned home to Appelsbosch.  As a member of Appelsbosch Baptist Church, Masizi got involved with CAST through his Pastor, Andrew Dube.

As Masizi explains, “I want other people’s lives to change as much as mine.”

This year Ostrich has moved to CAST’s Head Office in Westville to gain more experience in community development.  He will be interning with the various CAST departments, learning more about how CAST works in the communities.

CAST relies on our amazing team of interns to accomplish much of the work the Lord has called us to do.  Our interns are supported by donors who believe in their calling and want to support CAST’s mission to mobilise the local church to reach out with practical compassion to empower, transform and redeem communities.  If you are interested in supporting Mazisi this year, you can either give directly through EFT (details below) or contact Charmaine Moses at: charmaine@cast.org.za

Nedbank, Branch: Westville Mall/138026

Account: CAST Trust, No: 101 7717 672

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Thandi and the Girls

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For CAST’s Sport & Youth Development Department, 2015 was all about integrating girls into the programme. In the beginning of 2015, the Lord prompted several girls in KwaDabeka looking for a safe place to gym to join CAST’s basketball training. Those girls brought their friends, and soon CAST had enough girls from the community to start a female basketball team.

The only problem was that the girls had no one to lead them. A few senior guys stepped up to the plate and filled the gap by coaching the team, but the girls longed for a female coach who they could relate to. So when Coach Thandi Gova joined CAST’s Sport & Youth Development Internship Programme this year, there was no doubt the Lord had answered the prayers of our girls!

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Although Thandi comes across as shy and calm, she has a very adventurous spirit, a sharp sense of humor, and always wants to try new things. Thandi loves sport and plays hockey, soccer, and softball.

Thandi comes with an educational background in Coaching Science. Although her background is not in basketball, she is excited to learn more and also introduce new sports for the girls in our programme.

Her motivation to do development work comes from a desire to give back to the community. Originally from the Eastern Cape, Thandi always wanted to do something for girls because there were few positive opportunities for them, and teenage pregnancy was a huge problem.

However, because of Thandi’s educational qualifications in Coaching Science, she thought she would only be able to work in the private sector. But when she found out about CAST’s Sport & Youth Development Department, Thandi was excited to finally be able to live out her passion.

As Thandi explained, “I believe girls are not given enough opportunity to explore in sports. I’m excited to be working with the girls and empowering them.”

CAST relies on our hardworking interns to accomplish much of the work in the community, and they are a huge blessing to our organisation. Please keep Thandi and the girls in your prayers as they start 2016!

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Children’s Ministry in Chibini

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Chibini Baptist Church is one of CAST’s thriving rural partner churches. Since last year’s CAST holiday club in Chibini, Baba and Mama Khumalo have been overwhelmed by the growth of children coming to their Sunday School.

Several additions to their ministry have also increased the amount of children attending church.  First, the Khumalos received a bakkie, with which they are now able to transport more children from surrounding communities.

Second, the Khumalos organised a soccer pitch right above the playground that was donated last year during holiday club.  In addition, Baba Khumalo set up netball poles for the girls to play.

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These new sports opportunities have brought more children into the church to hear the Word of God.  Baba and Mama Khumalo have even started occasional “Sports Sundays”, where they share a short Bible message with the children, then invite them to play in a safe environment.

Please be in prayer for the Khumalos as they introduce more and more children to the love of Jesus.  In a community where many parents are absent due to work opportunities elsewhere, the Khumalos play a vital role in the lives of so many children.  Thanks be to God for providing for this CAST community!

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Coach Ostrich

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CAST’s Youth Development Team (left to right): Shaun (KwaDabeka Intern), Ostrich (Appelsbosch Intern), and George (Youth Development Manager)

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.  P1020232

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!

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2014 Holiday Clubs

During the last month, CAST, in partnership with several American and local teams, have put on holiday clubs for three of our communities.  The first holiday club was in Chibini, a rural community near Noodsberg.  An American team from Seattle came to help, along with CAST and local volunteers.  By the last day of holiday club, 200 children had heard the Gospel.

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The second holiday club was at Addington Primary School. Westville Baptist and CAST partnered to share the love of Jesus with children in Durban Central. Many children attend Addington Holiday Club because they are home alone while parents are working during the daytime.

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The theme of Addington Holiday Club was “Showtime”. The idea behind the theme was that every individual’s life is like a movie. Children were challenged to consider if their life is worth watching, and many kids came to know Christ when they were asked if Jesus was the director of their life.  Throughout the week, they watched acted-out TV programmes, and even became the live show!  

CAST’s final holiday club was in Mariannridge, one of our newer communities. An American team from Kentucky came to partner with CAST. 80 children attended, and experienced the love of Jesus. This holiday club was a part of the launch of the Youth Development Programme in Mariannridge.

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Please be in prayer that the children impacted by these holiday clubs will continue to grow in their relationship with Jesus through CAST’s Youth Development Programmes and local partner churches. If you are interested in tutoring, mentoring, or getting involved with our youth sports programmes, please email CAST at info@cast.org.za.

 

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Bryan the Professor X

Bryan (on right) with George Mwaura, CAST Youth Development Manager

Bryan (on right) with George Mwaura, CAST Youth Development Manager

Samkelo, more commonly known as “Bryan”, stands out in a crowd not only because of his height but also because of his charismatic and bubbly personality. He attends Durban High School (DHS) on a basketball scholarship, but grew up in KwaDabeka with his grandparents and mother.

Bryan’s story with CAST began in 2010, when he came to play basketball with the team in KwaDabeka. At first everyone on the team gave him a hard time because he was young, tall, and did not know how to play. After coming to practice only three times, Bryan’s grandfather passed away and he did not play basketball for a year.

One day Bryan’s mother brought home a basketball and encouraged him to practise, even though she did not want him to be on the team. Bryan prayed and asked God to give him a second chance with basketball. This time when Bryan came to play with the CAST team, he ignored the older guys and focused on developing his basketball skills. Bryan drilled himself on simple things, like a lay up, for a month and pushed himself to excel.

Before his first game in Westville, Bryan showed up an hour early to practise. Everyone wondered why he was sweating before the game, but his hard work paid off when he scored the first basket. Bryan earned his place on the team after the game.

However, he was not satisfied with being mediocre. Bryan studied how to improve his shots on Youtube in addition to practising with the CAST team.

Along the way, he was blessed with a pair of basketball shoes by one of our CAST donors. These shoes gave Bryan the confidence he needed to pursue his dreams, motivating him to work harder towards his goals. Bryan still prizes his basketball shoes, though worn and falling apart, as a reminder of the kindness shown to him.

Again, Bryan’s hard work paid off when a coach from Westville saw him play and asked him to tryout for the high school team. At the time DHS wanted him to play as well, so Bryan was torn between the two schools. He ended up choosing Westville, but was denied.

In 2013 Bryan was stuck at his old school, hoping for another chance to succeed. So he worked harder because he believed something was missing. Bryan’s chance came through his CAST coach, Lungelo Dlamini, who told him about KwaZulu-Natal’s district basketball tryouts. As one of the 75 best high school basketball players in the district, Bryan was vying for one of the 15 spots on the team. Gradually through several months, Bryan made it through the cuts as one of the last 15 people. However, he learned that the coach was only going to take 12 guys on the team. Bryan prayed only to be on the team. At the final selection, the assistant coach told Bryan that he did not make the cut, only to find out he was the youngest player on the roster!

Bryan’s luck did not end there; he was given scholarship forms for DHS. His mom was not too excited, but Bryan held out faith that God would answer his prayers. Hope seemed dim again when the school lost his forms, but in December 2013, Bryan was awarded a complete scholarship to attend DHS and play basketball.

Boarding school has taught Bryan how to be independent. It has been a hard transition at times, but Bryan is now excelling in school, even going to the library to get books to read just for fun!

Now that Bryan is on holiday, he has decided to volunteer with CAST. First, he assisted at the Mariannridge Sports Clinic for the launch of the Youth Development Program in that community. In Mariannridge he worked with boys, helping them improve their basketball and soccer skills. This past week Bryan volunteered at Addington Holiday Club as a group leader for Grade 5 boys. Bryan calls it his “mission”, as his boys are rowdy. However the experience has taught Bryan how to lead the boys in fun yet structured way. His group calls themselves “Team X” because each boy is named after a different super hero. Bryan’s focus is on growing the boys as a team, especially through praying. The boys now have someone they can look to as an example through Bryan, their “Professor X”.

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Bryan “Professor X” with his super heros!

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Bryan (in red) playing basketball with his boys

Bryan’s story is one of many. Everyday young people are being impacted through CAST’s Youth Development program. CAST’s Youth Development program believes that every young person has God-given potiential that should be nurtured. This story has not only impacted Bryan, but also the community around him. Bryan is growing and giving back to the community. CAST wants to thank all the sponsors who give to CAST’s Youth Development and help make a difference in our communities.

If you are interested in CAST’s Youth Development, you can get involved by asking George Mwaura about one of the following opportunities:

  • Sponsoring a boy to attend boys2Men Camp for R350
  • Mentoring a senior player
  • Tutoring a matriculant
  • Donating basketball shoes for the senior team

Make sure to keep Samkelo Bryan in your prayers!