Y-Justice is one of the YMCA´s signature programmes that reaches youth who are or have been in conflict with the law. It also targets youths whose socioeconomic situation places them at a high level of risk of either becoming perpetrators or victims of criminal activities. The Y-Justice programme is characterized by community awareness, intervention and prevention programs.
YMCA Pietermaritzburg’s Y-Justice programme consists of inviting children and youth living on the streets, between the ages of 10-35, to the YMCA on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They get to practice football as a team, to take a hot shower in our facilities and eat a warm meal. We use sport as a mechanism to prevent the youths from using drugs, both since it keeps them busy and because of the physical health benefits they get from being active. Besides this, we also run basic educational programs with them since many of the youths haven´t been to school. We also have art sessions with them, where the aim is to encourage them to express themselves.
Every week, we provide between 10-25 children and youths with the basic necessities of food and access to showers while creating a sense of belonging to the community among them. Our main purpose is to offer a safe space for them and to care for them as a family. As part of the Y-Justice programme, we are grateful for partnering up with the Life Bible Church. The Life Bible Church is part of the programme every Thursday, where they prepare and serve the food to the children and youths participating in the Y-Justice programme on a voluntary basis.