With societal challenges such as gender-based violence continuing to plague the Alexandra Township community, a grassroots approach to interventions is necessary to deal not just with the symptoms of these issues, but with the root cause.

As such, Rays of Hope is proud to announce the launch of a dedicated anger management programme specifically geared towards helping Alex youth (young men to begin with) to better deal with and navigate their emotions and issues to prevent these from manifesting into toxic behaviour within their communities.

“The relationship with my dad was very rocky. We lived in the same house but it got to the point where we never spoke, just greeted in passing. Even at my age (17), he never taught me things or tried to share any life lessons with me. It made me angry,” says Smangaliso Kubeka, a learner living in Alex who is taking part in the programme.

After taking the very brave first step of approaching his teachers at school for help, Kubeka was introduced to Rays of Hope’s Jacob Tema and the anger management programme, aptly named Majita Asiringeni (meaning “Boys, Let’s Talk”).

 “You can feel that there’s something inside of you that makes you think, ‘no, this is not who I am’. With me it became a thing that I might become suicidal, so I knew I needed help,” says Kubeka. “I don’t think I would be here now if it wasn’t for Mr Jacob. And now I feel free. I feel spiritually free.”

Young men from Alex like Smangaliso need programmes like these to help them navigate their emotions and circumstances in a healthy way, supporting the community of Alex to overcome the effects of toxic masculinity. Achieving this requires more social worker and counsellor resources, and we appeal to you to help make this a reality.

 Contact Tracey Peppler to find out how you can donate to Rays of Hope to help fund this much-needed programme.