A Little bit about us!
GCU was started in 2001 in Heideveld, an impoverished community in Cape Town. It’s founder Mario van Niekerk, having once been a gang member himself, has intimate knowledge of the insecurities that the local youth face and what ultimately attracts them into the gang sub-culture. It is at this level where the organisation wants to affect change.
GCU’s start was as a soccer club that would be more than just a sports team. It would have the ethos of a family and structured in a way that would allow the young players to find the sense of belonging they were seeking in the gangs. Over the years the organisation has expanded it’s sphere of influence in Heideveld. Along with soccer teams all along the age group spectrum, GCU provides rope-skipping; basketball; hockey; boxing and chess on a regular basis. They also provide all the physical education instructors to the five main Primary Schools in Heideveld.
A high importance is placed on education with the aim of breaking down the education-based poverty trap in this community and ultimately contributing to better opportunities at future employment. This is done by providing tutors for literacy classes during school hours and tutoring after school. The young adults who are involved with the organisation as a tutor or coach often find that it is a stepping stone to the career they dreamed of but thought was an impossibility.
Vision and Mission
Our vision is to see a society comprised of stable and healthy families, where children are guided and encouraged to achieve their dreams.
Our mission is to provide support to local youth through education; sports and life skills opportunities so that they can have a better opportunity in life.