An Awesome Encounter – Friday Afternoon

Although we are delighted to be here with Dave, Joanne and Jenna, Tom and I decided it would be valuable for us to experience a little of Johannesburg, while our family was at school. Dave suggested the Clip Town Youth Project as a possibility. Good old Google gave us heaps of information and a phone number. We called. Thando, the director,  who joyfully encouraged us to come for a visit.

Clip Town is a community of 44,000 people in Soweto Township. Driving by Soweto one sees miles of tin roofs sticking above the barbed wire that is rolled atop a stucco wall. Soweto is a suburb of over 1.4 million inhabitants. You can google the history of Soweto. I am only going to tell you about what I saw.

We walked into KYP through rows and rows of tiny one room tin dwellings, most without electricity.  At the KYP centre, I saw mostly barefoot children, running, laughing, playing, justlike children back home. I saw many school age children looking spiffy in their school uniforms. The Clip Town Youth Project runs an afterschool program providing tutoring and two meals a day for as many children as they can manage. The goals of the program are:

Please go to   for a detailed introduction to the project. The director, Thando took us on a full tour of the classrooms where volunteers tutor the kids, the computer room, the library, the kitchen, the “family” room, talking about the program. He encouraged me to take pictures. Afterward he led us down one of the footpaths to the place where he grew up. We met his mother, who welcomed us inside. “Here in Klip Town,” Thando said, “this is a middle class home. My mother saved her money to buy and furnish this home. (She does not own the property only the dwelling). Proudly he pointed out the stove, the cupboards, the bedroom. “Most do not have the second room,”  he said. Outside there was a water tap, one of 51 accesses to water for the 44,000 residents. Many homes have what we would call “Johnny on the Spots” that they share with others in the community.

After our home visit we returned to the project family room where we enjoyed a performance by the project’s gumboot dances, done just for the two of us. They were amazing. These young people have travelled through Europe and the US.

I signed and gave to the community three of my books – Fireweed, Can I Hold Him? and Dipping your Toes. They were thrilled to receive these Christian books. We made a donation that would feed a child for a year and buy him/her a school uniform, which took all the African Rand we had with us.  It didn’t seem like much but as Mother Theresa said, “We can’t feed the whole world but we can feed the one that we encounter.” Before we left we bought two KYP t-shirts. We asked if we could use Canadian money. “Sure,” Thando said. “We can use money in any form.” Our whole visit was awesome. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

A street in the Klip Town Community
Klip Town Youth Project Computer Room
KYP Kitchen. Here lunch is prepared for the children to pick up on their way to school in the morning. School is a 1/2 hour walk from the community. After school the children receive their supper which is prepared in this kitchen. Friday night they received Rice, Fried Chicken and Cole Slaw salad.
KYP library
KYP Family Room . Since it was Friday evening, some of the children had gathered to watch an hour of television. Without electricity in their homes, there are no electronics.
This is one of 4 KYP classrooms. Children gather here to do their homework and receive tutoring.
Klip Town kids having supper at KYP
Klip Town Community Tap, one of 51 sprinkled throughout the community. These taps are their only water sources.
Thando’s Mom, welcomed us into her home. She took great pride in showing us around.
Tom and Thando outside Thando’s childhood home.
KYP 2016 Grade 12 Graduates
Sports, and the arts are part of the KYP program. These trophies are proudly displayed in the office.

Some of KYP’s strengths


If you would like to donate to this life transforming project please go


Leave a Comment


Make sure you don't miss anything!

Past Thoughts