Alternatives to street Life

Umthombo Key Programmes


  • High intensity engagement programmes: The rationale of these programmes is to provide recreation as an alternative to substance misuse but also as a tool to teach life skills, self-esteem and motivation.
  • Working with relevant partners: Improve efficiency of outreach across Durban and avoid duplication of resources as well as a means of referral.
  • Outreach camps: Outreach Camps prepare children and youth for reintegration through a combination of recreational programmes with psycho-social interventions.
  • On foot outreach: Strategic mapping out of locations and areas in in which the children stay to take our services to them with the aim of building rapport and ascertaining whether we can meet their needs.

Reintegration & Aftercare:

  • Family Mediation: Working with the families to improve conditions for the child at home and imparting parenting skills.
  • Back to school: Helping the family to register the child in school or youth for ABET school or training, providing material assistance when required such as uniform, stationary etc. Making an application for a child to be exempt from school fees if necessary.
  • Material Assistance: Up to 3 months food parcels can be provided to low income families to aid the reintegration process.
  • Statutory work: Making referrals to local Department of Social Development or Home Affairs to ensure sustainable ongoing support for families. 
  • Referrals: Referral to shelters, rehabs, charities, support groups again to ensure sustainable ongoing support.
  • Aftercare camps: Taking reintegrated children away for a weekend with an aim to increase resilience for coping with challenges at home. This allows for a recreational break for children and some rest for families. 
  • Employability and independent living: Providing life skills programme to youth to equip them with soft skills that will assist in finding and keeping employment. Working with local businesses to improve employability, skill building and entrepreneurship. 


  • Case Work: One to one work with children to establish a care plan and monitor their progress with it. 
  • Individual and Group therapeutic work: Assisting children with motivation, self-esteem, and emotional management and generally coping with their life experiences.
  • Education: This includes a basic Literacy and Numeracy programme as well as raising awareness relevant issues such as money management, substance misuse.


  • Basic Health Assessment: Keeping accurate records of the children’s health needs and status of health.
  • Basic First Aid and medical provision: Providing children with the basic health needs both in the centre and on the street through the outreach programme. 

  • Referral to healthcare facilities: Making referrals, when required, to the relevant healthcare facilities and where possible establishing partnerships such as spec savers, HIV and AIDS clinics etc.
  • Basic Hygiene: Providing services for, educating on and encouraging children to prioritise personal hygiene. This includes bathing and laundry facilities.
  • Education and Awareness sessions: These are based on issues relevant to the children and youth.
  • Nutrition: A feeding programme in the drop in centre providing three meals per day.
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