Turning away from the gangs in South Africa

Westbury was built during the 1920’s to accommodate African residents evicted from areas near Johannesburg. Westbury’s population is poor and suffers from an unemployment rate estimated at about 75%. All too many of its young people drop out of school and join gangs that control the streets with rampant violence. Glen Steyn believes that bad kids are not born. They are made this way by circumstances; which means that they can also be remade.

As a former gang member himself, Glen Steyn understands that for young people to make new life choices, they must change their environment. This was his reason for founding Conquest for Life (CFL), an organization that helps young people escape from gangs and establish a new life. The In and Out Youth Development Project runs outdoor camps that take older youth, age fourteen to twenty-five, out of their regular environment for three weeks to provide an opportunity to think on their own without peer pressure. The program seeks to break the influence of gangs and begin the hard work of building alternative trust relationships.

Conquest for Life _website

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Excellent documentary: The Cape of fear