Caption: Mustadafin Foundation’s aim of uplifting disadvantaged communities and educating the youth in the Western Cape region reached another level with their inspirational youth leadership camp, which recently took place at the picturesque Chrysalis Academy in Tokai, Cape Town. A total of 57 youngsters aged 13 to 26 attended the camp with the theme ‘Awakening the leader within’.

The youngsters from Athlone, Vygieskraal, Kewtown, Hanover Park, Khayelitsha and Delft are no strangers to adversity with most of them residing in single parent homes in informal settlements. “These children are exposed to gangsterism, gang fights, death, drug addiction, alcoholism and violence on a daily basis. This is why youth programmes of this nature are so relevant and pertinent. The camp helped increase their self-esteem, inspired them to connect further with their spirituality, taught them balanced living and how to deal with everyday challenges as well as improve their leadership skills,” says Fidaah Edries, Youth and Mental Health Co-ordinator at Mustadafin Foundation.

Upon their arrival, the enthusiastic youth received hampers containing a book and a pen, face cloth, Vaseline, soap, antiperspirant and snacks. Fun-filled activities taught them how to connect with nature and let go of the past. Another highlight of the camp was Edries’ motivational talk titled ‘It’s not the chances we take, but the choices we make that will determine our destinies’.

“Most of the youth never had the opportunity to travel out of their area of residence due to poverty, let alone experience nature. The most remarkable moment of the camp for me was when a boy from Hanover Park told me it’s the first time he had hiked up a mountain, and seen baboons. He enjoyed it so much he wanted to stay on the mountain the whole day and was amazed at how fresh the air was. He was also extremely afraid of baboons, but then got over his fear the second day and walked beside them,” says Edries.

The air was filled with laughter and excitement and a lot of great activities for all the youth. “We did a lot of fun activities during the camp and I enjoyed the obstacle course the most. The camp taught me to work together in a team, be brave and always think positive,” says Nadeefa Hendricks from Kewtown.

19 year old Shadley Jooste from Belgravia says, “What I will take from this camp is to lead children on a straight path, teach them new things and make them laugh. Another valuable lesson I learnt is not to listen to your mind but your heart.”

The youth camp was co-ordinated by Fidaah Edries and the head facilitator was Nazley Behardien, a Mustadafin Executive.

The next camp will take place from 10 – 12 October 2014 during the school holidays and the theme will be From Personal Leadership to Social Upliftment Excellence.

As youth camps of this nature are very costly, financial assistance would be greatly appreciated. The donations Mustadafin Foundation require for the camp are toiletries, games, drinks, food, blankets and towels. If you would like to assist or donate please call Fidaah Edries on 021-6330010 or email

For more information visit Mustadafin Foundation at

Mustadafin Foundation’s banking details are as follows, should you wish to make a donation:

Account name      : Mustadafin Foundation

Institution               : Standard Bank

Branch Code         : 025909

Branch                  : Athlone

Account no            : 072778377