1. The Arekopaneng Project

Soshanguve, situated to the North of Pretoria is just one of many areas that have endured the socio-economic impact of HIV/Aids. The Pretoria branch of Families South Africa (FAMSA) has been active in this particular area for 15 years, and in 2002 FAMSA started the Arekopaneng (meaning togetherness) project in the area.

The establishment of this project was a direct response to the impact of HIV/Aids in the area, particularly for the informal settlement area of Boikhutsong. It was here that FAMSA found lots of orphaned children in the care of neighbours, other family members and in extreme cases child-headed households which have become an unwelcome phenomenon in South Africa.

Extreme poverty, the difficulty associated with living in informal structures, as well as the instability associated with regular changes in primary caregivers due to the death of caregivers, necessitated an organized community care and

support services programme. It is here that FAMSA stepped-up to the plate to take care of the children in this community.

Initially, FAMSA applied for funding with the Department of Social Development that has since partially funded the project.

During its initial phases the project recruited unemployed out-of-school youth and women as volunteers to mobilize

community based support and care service to families in need. The ultimate goal was to create a sustainable and community based support structure for families in need.

A sustainable community based solution

Today the Arekopaneng project has developed into a sustainable community based service that employs 19 people of which 16 were unemployed local community members. The project operates under an executive committee, a director and an accountant of FAMSA Pretoria, as well as a full time program manager, three social auxiliary workers, one child care coordinator, one administrator and 10 caregivers.

The Arekopaneng project aims to achieve the following objectives:

Provision of support and home care services to 100 families affected by HIV/Aids. These families include single parent families and youth/granny headed households. This aspect of the project focuses on assistance with cleaning homes; preparation of lunch boxes for school going children, homework assistance; counselling services; creation of memory boxes to help the children to deal with the loss of a parent; assistance with funeral arrangements and facilitation of linking the family with structures in the community. Training and supervision of ten caregivers who deliver services to the families supported by the project. These caregivers are responsible for bereavement counselling, trauma debriefing, nutrition, care of the terminally ill, assisting caregivers in the home, parenting, lay counselling, food gardens, palliative care, monitoring of developmental stages of children and support groups. Provision of psycho-social support, and a focus on life skills for the orphans and vulnerable children through counselling, support groups and group work. To achieve this objective, the project groups children according to their age in groups and discusses children’s rights, grief process, HIV/Aids, abuse and family violence, healthy lifestyles and relationships. Provision of a food security program to one hundred families that comprise orphans and vulnerable children. This is done by providing basic food parcels to vulnerable families, as well as the distribution of second hand clothes.

2.  Soutpan After Care Project

This project function in the poverty restricted area of Soutpan on the northern side of Soshanguve. The children who attend this project come from single – parent families, youth- headed households and foster families.

 We deliver the following services to these children:

  •  A cooked meal after school
  • Assistance with school work
  • Life-skills programmes
  • Recreational activities
  • Holiday programmes
  • Counselling

 This project is solely funded by donations

3. Crime Prevention Project


Famsa Pretoria is involved in Soshanguve over the past 15 years. The need for this programme developed over this period of time. We especially became aware of the huge challenges that face the youth. Referrals for this programme will come from social workers, community leaders, schools and police stations.


Youth in the Soshanguve area that presents with behaviour that is socially unacceptable or criminal offences which creates a risk either for themselves or the communities in which they lives.  This group includes young people that live in an informal settlement area and in poverty who do not have access to proper resources. The third group includes young people who live in single parent families, young people who live in violent families, orphans, children in foster care and in families where there is not positive parental guidance.


Substance abuse: alcohol, dagga, nyaope, cigarettes, drugs, gambling, spinning, playing cards for money, criminal offences like stealing, abuse, fighting, and vandalism, problems with discipline, staying out late at night, associate with bad friends, gangs, sexually active, clubbing, problems at school, under-performance, and destructive behavior in class, disrespectful, Teenage pregnancies


  • The aim and objective of this programme is:To create an awareness with the              youth on their behavior and the consequences of these behavior
  •  To deal effective with unresolved issues from the past and the here and now
  •  Establish the real reason for this unacceptable behavior and creates an insight
  •  Equip them with new skills to handle peer pressure effectively and to take                  responsibility for their future
  •  Build their self- esteem 
  •  Equip them with skills to have healthy relationships with significant others 
  •  Enhance change from youth with unacceptable social behavior to youth with a          healthy lifestyle and with a future.


Therapeutic group work and experiential learning will be used as a method to address these behaviour problems with youth. An assessment will be done to establish which current unacceptable behaviour is present and what did the youth experience in the past to estimate the hurts that they do experience.

The main focus will be to help them to address the unresolved issues that they experience in their live which can result in these negative behaviour problems. The group work will also have an element of life skills training and how to develop a healthy self-esteem that can cope with peer pressure.


The programme will be done in the Soshanguve area with a specific focus on the informal settlement areas


The needs of each group will determine which sessions will be discussed.

  • Norms and values in sessions
  • Responsibility for behavior versus ignorance
  • Relationships with parental figures
  • Respect versus disrespect
  • Substance abuse
  • Peer pressure and relationships with friends and the opposite sex
  • Decision making and consequences
  • Freedom with boundaries
  • Problem solving
  • Criminal behavior and consequences
  • Emotional intelligence –feelings and how to deal with it
  • How to deal with loss – mourning process
  • Violence – causes and consequences
  • Self-esteem and how to care for myself
  • Spirituality
  • Taking responsibility for my own future
  • Stress management


Discussions, theoretical input, role-plays, dramas, songs, dance, small group discussions, debates, presentations