The foundation's programs are designed to support the programs of the Touch A Life Centre in Winterveldt, South Africa, a community center run by South Africans.
We are also excited to report the creation of the Touch A Life Leadership Circle, a group of ardent supporters who have chosen to focus their Youth Centre contributions in specific ways. In addition to providing conceptual and practical direction, these leaders have committed to making an annual contribution, hosting a table at the Dream Breakfast and planning house parties during the year.
Every year since 2002, the Touch A Life Centre and St. Andrew’s Episcopal School have participated in an exchange program. Each March, students from St. Andrew’s visit the Touch A Life Centre where they learn about life in Winterveldt, provide community service, and bond with Touch A Life.
In January, 12 Touch A Life and members of the staff visit the Washington DC area. The following events and programs occur during their month-long stay:
Host Families: As part of the exchange program, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School families volunteer to host one or two Touch A Life in their homes during their stay. These youth are integrated into the everyday lives of their host families and develop strong and lasting connections. Their presence is profoundly enriching and a great gift to the US families.
Performances: The Touch A Life perform throughout the DC Metropolitan area to raise funds for, and awareness of, the Centre. Performances feature theatrical plays and vignettes based directly on their life experiences as well as traditional South African music and dance. Each trip culminates in two significant performances: one at GWU for an adult audience and one at SAES for families.
Touch A Life Dream Breakfast: This event serves as the main source of funding for the Youth Scholarship Program. The Breakfast also exposes a wide audience to the youth’s life-affirming energy, powerful talent and inspiring promise. To date, 60 students have received scholarships from the Breakfast funds.
Career Workshop: During their stay, the youth participate in a three-day career workshop involving one-on-one mentorship to hone professional goals and resumes and daylong worksite visits in their areas of interest.
Stateside Alumni Group: Many American high school and college students report being forever changed by their encounters with Touch A Life. This year witnessed the official launching of the Stateside Alumni Group to nurture these connections, facilitate mutual support and promote ongoing engagement in each other’s lives.