Ratang Bana Youth Outreach
In the heart of Alexandra, Johannesburg, one of the most densely populated townships in South Africa, an emerald oasis exists beneath the abandoned pylons of Eskom, South Africa’s state owned power company. Ratang Bana Youth Outreach is a hub of community based empowerment and inspiration to all who visit.
Ratang Bana which means” Future for Children” in Sotho, was founded by Director, Ingrid Moloi who has the vision and the drive that keeps Ratang Bana growing steadily down the abandoned corridor of pylons. Her staff consists of 3 fulltime gardeners who are provided food and small stipends. One gardener lives on the property and is the general caretaker. In addition, as many as 30 grandmothers and orphan caretakers volunteer in the garden plots on a daily basis. The administrative staff consists of volunteers and student interns who help with promotion and fundraising.
Ingrid Moloi started her social work career after completing her education. She began by working in social services for the local government. She had an extensive case load but became frustrated by the inability of the department to affect results. She had the dream of starting her own organization where she could impact the lives of her clients more effectively. Her career began just as the AIDS pandemic was unfolding in South Africa, consequently she experienced the tragedy of children being orphaned all around her and on a daily basis. This was exacerbated by a government that debunked modern scientific evidence regarding HIV and AIDS and so millions died untreated. Ingrid is openly HIV positive and this gives her the unique position to be able to understand the circumstances of many of the children and grandparents who come to Ratang Bana seeking help. In addition, her experience working for local government, developed in her the administrative skills that have helped to grow Ratang Bana into a highly functioning and growing organization.
Ratang Bana supports 352 families with regular food parcels donated from various food establishments, supplemented by fresh produce from their food gardens. Volunteer counselors host daily support group for young teens. A fully equipped learning center and library is filled daily with shack dwelling local students who would otherwise have no facilities to study. A playground designed and built by US students from CalPoly, San Luis Obispo is heavily used on a daily basis and requires regular upkeep. Ratang Bana supports a youth football team and rewards teens who go out into the community in search of abused and abandoned animals for rescue by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Kidlinks is currently seeking $3000 to develop a composting project and further develop a livestock program so as to be able to provide more fresh eggs to meet the growing demand for protein in the food packages. In addition, chicken manure will be used to add nutrients to the vegetable production beds.
Ingrid Moloi, Director
71 Martin Manzi Street, Extension 9
East Bank, Alexandra Township, Johannesburg. South Africa
Email -: [email protected]