The Bokamoso Youth Foundation provides financial support to the Bokamoso Life Centre through ticketed events, performances, and corporate and individual donors. It coordinates the annual Cultural Exchange trip including the Career Development Workshop. The Foundation members also communicate regularly with the Centre board and staff regarding programs, budgets, and challenges to ensure a smooth partnership.
Cultural Exchange and Performing Arts Program
The Foundation coordinates the month-long Cultural Exchange and Performing Arts Program. Each January, 10 to 12 members of the Bokamoso Drama Group, along with staff chaperones, travel to the United States where they are hosted by St Andrew’s Episcopal School for three-and-a-half weeks and by The George Washington University (GWU) for a week. Members of the Bokamoso Life Centre Drama Group audition for the opportunity to participate in the Exchange Program.
During their stay at St Andrew’s, the youth are hosted by families where they experience American family life, attend classes, and participate in school activities. At GWU, they are hosted by university students, live in dormitories, participate in classes, and exchange life experiences with the American students.
The Foundation coordinates this annual trip, including organizing air travel, planning appearances and events, supporting the staffs at St. Andrews and GWU, organizing ticketed performances, scheduling visits to area churches, schools and partner organizations, as well as arranging transportation and meals as needed.
Major events include the Bokamoso Dream Brunch, co-hosted by St Andrew’s, a reception at the Embassy of South Africa, and a major performance at the Dorothy Betts Marvin Theater in GWU’s Student Centre.
The exchange includes a two-week visit to South Africa in March by a group of St. Andrew’s upper school students. The cost of this trip is born by the families of the students traveling plus some additional financial support by St Andrew’s. The Foundation assists the St. Andrew’s staff with communication and planning as needed. Foundation members frequently serve as chaperones on the St. Andrew’s trip.
Career Development Workshop
Seekers Church created the Career Development Workshop and with The Foundation organizes an annual workshop for the Bokamoso youth. It is a three-day workshop involving one-on-one mentorship to help the youth clarify their professional goals.
Days one and three of the workshop involve guided conversations that take a practical, common sense approach to develop a career plan, create a resume, practice interviewing, and develop a workplan to implement when they go back to South Africa. Day two provides worksite visits in their area of interest. The purpose of the visit is for the youth to gather information about career fields, to practice interviewing skills, and to experience a work environment.
Mentors are volunteers who are professionals in their fields. Mentoring is an unforgettable opportunity to get to know one of the Bokamoso youth in depth, and to help that youth gain practical career development experience and advice.
The Foundation raises funds to support the Centre through performances, events, partner churches and businesses, and through individual and corporate contributions.
In 2008 the Scholarship Program was established to help eligible Centre youth pursue post-secondary educational or vocational opportunities. To be eligible for a scholarship one must complete the ten-month Bokamoso Youth Development Program and be in good standing at the Centre. Applications are managed by and scholarships are awarded by Centre staff. The Foundation does not award scholarships, rather, the Foundation coordinates with the Centre staff to ensure that a maximize number of youth have the opportunity to benefit from Scholarship Program. Click here for more about the Scholarship Program.
Organizational Development Support
Foundation board members provide ongoing mentoring for the Centre board, management and staff in a variety of policy, administrative, programmatic and institutional development areas. Mentoring takes place through long-distance communications as well as periodic visits by Foundation members to Winterveldt and annual visits by Centre staff to Washington. While integral to the partnership, the cost of Foundation travel does not come out of funds raised. Foundation members pay their own travel costs.