Although we have a strong focus on empowerment through sport, we also work closely with several soup kitchens and other initiatives so that the impact we make may better whole communities. Take a look at some of the projects we are involved with.
Santa Shoebox Drive
The Santa Shoebox Drive is an annual initiative that delivers gift boxes to children from disadvantaged areas across the Cape Town area. Our collaboration with several donors and organisations is instrumental in the success of the event. We have distributed more than 500 boxes in the past two years which contained the following items: facecloth, toothpaste, toothbrush, toiletries, clothing, an educational item and a toy.
The destitute living conditions of some of the recipients often leads to an incredibly emotional handover. This event is a reminder to be grateful for everything we have and to stay humble and helpful – small tokens to us could make a world of difference to children that have never received a Christmas present before.
Macassar Winter Blanket Drive
The alarming statistics of unemployment, poverty and violence made Macassar the focus of our most recent Mandela Day blanket drive. This was an incredibly humbling experience by all involved as we got to see the effect a simple blanket can have in the lives of the young and old alike. In the past two years, we have distributed over 300 blankets to the seniors of the community and have been fortunate enough to have had the resources to provide more than 500 families with a meal for the day. Winters in Cape Town can be harsh and unforgiving, but an extra blanket and a decent meal can make all the difference to a family in need.
The AJ foundation supplies more than two soup kitchens in Mitchells Plain with ingredients monthly. Sometimes a cup of soup is all these families have to eat for the day. Even the smallest contribution can make a vast impact to several people. This is an ongoing initiative that we participate in throughout the year. What does it say about us as human beings if we cannot even ensure that the people living in our communities don’t have access to a basic human right like food?
Leeds Lentegeur Youth Soccer Development Programme
The Leeds Lentegeur Youth Soccer Development Programme is one of the very first projects that we successfully rolled out in 2016. This project was launched under the umbrella of the AJ Generation, a private company that is managed by Jesse Julius and Cole Alexander. Sport and education are equally important for the pair and served as motivation to get this project off the ground. Our obligation as individuals, as well as a foundation, is always to give back to the public to improve youth development and encourage community upliftment.
Thanks to the hard work of the individuals in this foundation and our partnership with Umbro SA, as well as the generous contributions of several other sponsors, we were able to hand the Leeds Lentegeur Football Club a R10 000 cheque, and equipment and training apparel worth R10 000. It is the desire of the foundation to regularly support the youth development structures of the sporting organisation to continuously identify and development talent.
South End (Ocean View) Soccer Youth Development Programme
Ocean View, an impoverished community near Kommetjie, is home to the South End Football Club. We recently paid the club a visit where we made a short presentation and gifted sporting equipment and a monetary donation to strengthen and maintain the club structures. It might be a small town, but Ocean View is teeming with talented young people who only need an opportunity to achieve success in sports and education.
Women should be celebrated every day, but we make a special effort to honour the women in our communities on Women’s Day. With so many special and talented ladies involved in organising and setting up the event, it could only have been a special day that was full of joy and celebration.
Golf Day - the AJ Foundation Bursary Fund
Our annual golf day is the main event to raise money for the AJ Foundation Bursary Fund. Each year, a long list of celebrity sportspeople and corporate companies sponsor the event so that we may raise enough money to pay for the tertiary education of a young person from a disadvantaged community.
The AJ Foundation aims to break the cyclical nature of the downtrodden by helping Cape Town youth to realise their own potential.