An exciting visitor comes to Safe-Hub Diepsloot

A group of children at Safe-Hub in Diepsloot run to have a photograph taken just before another activity. Photo: Khomotso Makgabutlane

DIEPSLOOT – Football legend Lothar Matthäus visited the Safe-Hub community in Diepsloot and was impressed at the organisation and what they do for children in the community.

Local non-government organisation Safe-Hub Diepsloot welcomed an esteemed international football guest to the area to see the facilities and the workshops provided for the children in Diepsloot.

Young boys and girls arrived at the grounds on 5 March, followed by a volunteer coach known as a playmaker, where they were introduced to captain of the 1990 FIFA World Cup winning team and World Football Player of the Year in 1991, Lothar Matthäus.

Safe-Hub programme manager Siphokazi Ndlanga-Lavu and 1990 FIFA World Cup winner Lothar Matthäus at Safe-Hub in Diepsloot. Photo: Khomotso Makgabutlane

Safe-Hub was developed by Amandla, an international social enterprise based in South Africa, Germany and United States of America. Not only are children who come to the Safe-Hub developing their football skills, but they also learn life skills for learners up to the age of 12.

Yannick Wöppel passes to another player on the field. Photo: Khomotso Makgabutlane

In 2016, Safe-Hub was officially launched in the Diepsloot area. The connection both Bundesliga, the German football league, and Safe-Hub have is a strong one in which coaches are sent from Germany to South Africa for a week-long coaching workshop along with different activities for the public to enjoy.

These workshops take place every year and this year’s workshop started on 2 March.

Yannick Wöppel, one of the German coaches, gives instructions to players on the field at Safe-Hub in Diepsloot. Photo: Khomotso Makgabutlane

Playmakers and volunteer coaches at Safe-Hub, Salminah Malok and Kamogelo Lekalakala explained why Safe-Hub is important to the community, and why they got involved with the NGO. “Kids have too much time and don’t have facilities to have fun. Safe-Hub takes kids from their time abundance and brings them to a safe space to learn different skills and share their opinions,” Lekalakala said.

Two children at Safe-Hub during the afternoon’s activities of football games.

The 20-year-old Malok added, “We give children a chance to be children since, on the streets, kids are not safe from crime…Building Safe-Hub in Diepsloot gives them a place they can be free and escape their backgrounds where they come from. We try to encourage and build them up.”

Kamogelo Lekalakala and Salmimah Malok are volunteers with the children at Safe-Hub who have been with the NGO for two months. Photos: Khomotso Makgabutlane

Yannick Wöppel and Christian Rümke, two coaches from German clubs, shared their coaching knowledge to the children throughout the week-long workshop. Many of the children took a strong liking to the both of them and often ran to hug or high-five them when they had the chance. “[Whenever there is a] chance, we can come and coach the kids, we’ll definitely take it,” said Rümke.

FIFA World Cup 1990 winner Lothar Matthäus speaks to Supersport at Safe-Hub in Diepsloot.

Head of facilities at Safe-Hub Diepsloot, Thato Molefe said Safe-Hub’s goal is to continue growth around the country. “We want to have a Safe-Hub in each province.

All the Safe-Hub playmakers, Bundesliga organisers and background staff at Safe-Hub in Diepsloot. Photo: Khomotso Makgabutlane

The freedom for children to be children is encouraged at Safe Hubs all around the country. Photo: Khomotso Makgabutlane

We also want to have this type of programme really empower not only kids but the youth in impoverished areas. This means looking at helping them get permanent employment.”

By: Khomotso Makgabutlane