In the Cape Town, South Africa harbor community of Hout Bay youth have hope! Like youth everywhere, in every age, they are ready and willing to change their world. They have the vision and the energy: all they need is financial support.
In September of 2005, at the initiative of former CELD Board Member Chuck Adams, a meeting of potential ‘Young Sparks’ was held at the Hout Bay Cultural Community Hall. Young Sparks is another Community Partnership Grant program funded by the CELD in partnership with Imagine Hout Bay’s Youth and Social Development sector.
Seven Young Sparks teams from the local township of Imizamo Yethu (IY) and the Harbor community competed for one of five $200 CELD grants by presenting their projects to the Young Sparks board. Teams were required to present a clear project plan and to convince the board that their project would benefit the community as a whole. The 9-person Young Sparks board reflects broad representation of citizen leaders from around Hout Bay.
Three of the presentations centered on improvements and renovations to the playground and sports areas in IY:
All three of these projects were funded by the Young Sparks program.
In June 2006, a second round of Young Sparks project grants were undertaken aimed at community service projects with an environmental theme — Clean and Green. Projects included tree planting, expanding a community garden and cleaning up trash and debris that poses health and safety dangers. All three areas of Hout Bay — the township, the valley and the harbor — were involved in this round of projects.
In 2007, at the initiative and under the leadership of CELD Board member Tom Boyce, the Rotary Club of Los Gatos, California, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Hout Bay, took over funding the Young Sparks program for the next two years. Supported by the Rotary Club, a part time administrator for the program was hired and has been involved in public outreach and working with groups to develop proposals. In June 2007 the Board of the Young Sparks program approved grants to support five projects:
These projects are funded by contributions from the Rotary Club of Los Gatos, California. The Rotary Club of Hout Bay is acting as the fiscal agent for this two-year project. At the end of the two years, the Rotary Club of Hout Bay took over support of the program with contributions from local businesses. The demonstration projects funded by CELD showed the community what a valuable resource they have in their youth and the Young Sparks initiative was institutionalized with on-going support from the local community. We could not have hoped for a more successful outcome.
Former CELD Board Member, Chuck Adams with Jean Mearns in garden created as part of Young Sparks