Ammish Community Development is an acknowledged social Non-Profit Organization with young children in South African townships as its main beneficiaries. The first ideas were developed by Masishaba Mlotshwa, director of the organization, and her late husband in 2015 and grew into a visionary program in May 2017. Since then Ammish expanded in a rapid pace and is now already serving far more than three thousand children on a day-to-day basis. The organization spreads its services from Jabavu, the center of South Africa’s million-people township, Soweto. The long-term goal is to extend the offerings to other areas as well as soon as capacities and funding allow.
One of the biggest issues in South African townships is that after school many kids aren’t provided with a safe and nurturing environment where they can spend their free time and prepare for the next school day. They end up unsupervised on the streets and are exposed to the risk of drug abuse and other bad influences. Ammish has developed a concept to effectively break this circle and keep the children in a supportive and fun environment during afternoons. Therefore, the organization establishes cooperation’s with primary schools to take over their rooms and premises after school’s out. From that moment the Ammish team is responsible for the children’s well-being and organizes fun and educational activities, sportive events and homework support. At this stage Ammish has running contracts with 5 schools in Soweto while many more are waiting to be included into the program.
In addition to the afterschool program Ammish is also operating a soup kitchen. Because a lot of our beneficiaries arrive at school without packed lunch, the kitchen service is an important supplement to all educational activities by ensuring a healthy learning atmosphere. Despite generous food donations from local supermarkets the soup kitchen is not yet running with the needed capacity and is still operating independently from the afterschool projects. This originates in lacking cooking facilities which could be used by the organization. In the long-run the soup kitchen is supposed to move into a new location with suitable cooking space to be able to provide for all children in need. Furthermore, the kitchen project shall be intertwined with the afterschool projects after relocation.