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Rays of Hope

Rays of Hope

The heart of Alexandra

Rays of Hope is registered as a Section 21 Company (registration no. 063 389 NPO) and as a Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) (registration no. 9300 26797 PBO) with Section 18A status. Rays of Hope started operating with one project in Alexandra Township in 1991. The organisation now has a network of 9 community based projects, impacting over 1000 people, focusing on economic independence, health care, education, primary crime prevention and orphans & vulnerable children.

The Rays of Hope Projects


The Africa Works project is about creating economic change through income-generating and skills-development initiatives such as welding, woodwork, perfume sales, bag making and crochet.
The vision is to break the cycle of poverty by giving a ‘hand-up, not a hand-out’. Since the project started, hundreds of people have been helped to become economically active; many going on to find full time employment, and their products, which are top-quality, are now exported. A job portal is envisioned where jobs are sourced and people from the community are matched to those jobs. Women are trained on basic business skills and generate an income buying and selling second hand clothing.


This project aims to ignite the future dreams of township matriculants by equipping them for meaningful employment through education and mentoring. Hard working, motivated individuals are empowered with opportunities to study beyond grade 12 & develop technical skill


Knox constitutes a small group of adults who live in Alex who meet together on a Saturday to receive life coaching. Knox, “the school of hard knocks”, is aimed at men & women who by way of their circumstances are without formal employment and little opportunity to get work and provide for their families. Entrepreneurs and business minded individuals support them through their life challenges with counsel and encouragement. Knox has been successful in forging partnerships with corporates who have placed members of the group into learnerships.


The ECD Project aims to equip Caregivers with the skills and knowledge to nurture 0-5 year olds to grow, develop and thrive in their community, Alexandra. Teaching and support is offered by a multidisciplinary team of volunteers and an Alex-based “Super-Mama”. Contact with the Creches, Clinics and Neighbourhoods is made primarily by the Super Mama who lives in Alex. Focus is on Health and the Early Educational needs of the children.


Rose-Act is based at the Central Johannesburg College, Alexandra Campus, where more than 250 students each year from Grades 4-9 are taught Mathematics and English. Students are rewarded for academic achievement throughout the year, but Rose-Act also provides social and spiritual enrichment through holiday clubs, an annual camp and extra mural activities. This positively impacts the children’s well-being, as well as their academic results. The Saturday School encourages the growth of students self-belief, and nurtures hope for a meaningful future.


Situated in Marlboro Gardens on the fringe of Alexandra, is a residential centre that strives for excellent holistic care to vulnerable, abused, orphaned and neglected children. Ikhaya Lomusa means ‘Home of Grace’. The home provides an opportunity for each child to reach his or her potential, so that they can live independently and become contributing members of society as adults. The Centre’s services include therapeutic, developmental, recreational, spiritual and educational programmes, and home schooling is provided for children who are not ready for mainstream education.


The Child-Headed Households (CHH) programme focuses on orphaned and vulnerable children living in Alexandra. While some have a relative or caring adult somewhere in the community, most still live in desperate situations. The programme team assess each child and household to determine the best possible care plan, and coordinates with schools, authorities and other organisations in Alexandra in order to best meet these children’s needs. Through demonstrating love, practical care and comprehensive programming, it is hoped that each child will be able to break the cycle of victimisation, and have a solid foundation on which to build a healthy and fulfilled life. Needs addressed range from counselling, material provision (food, clothing, shelter & health care) to school assistance, job training and recreational activities.


Grandmother-Headed Households remain the norm in Alexandra where they have lost or buried their children and become parents once again. They are the unsung heroes of communities, and fill in the family gap as nurturers for the next generation. The vision for the Support Group is to provide a place where Grannies in Alexandra can be cared for, encouraged and supported, so that they can carry their unexpected and untimely burden effectively. They are also taught skills like crocheting, sewing & beading which assists them to supplement their income to support their families.


The Home-Based Care team visit the sick and dying in their shacks in Alexandra Township on a weekly basis. They provide advice, comfort, spiritual support, food, clothing, bed linen and household equipment. They also repair and clean the shacks that the patients live in. The team is made up of 3 individuals and they visit anyone in Alex who is sick, particularly HIV/AIDS patients. The team tries to get to know the patients, and to assist them with whatever their greatest needs are. This often involves giving advice and encouragement; sometimes it involves taking them to the clinic or calling an ambulance when they are very ill. At the end of each visit the team pray with the patients, and continue to visit until they are stable.

Operational Principles

The following operational principals guide the work of Rays of Hope:

  • A narrow geographical reach in Alexandra Township in order to make a deep and lasting impact.
  • Audited by Lloyd Viljoen. Financials available on request.
  • All overheads are paid for by stakeholders of the NPO except for salaries; although salaries are covered through specified donations.
  • Over 130 committed volunteers in 12 projects.
  • Responsible use of resources, maximising benefit to donors and beneficiaries.
  • Upliftment in an empowering manner such that people do not become dependent upon aid.
  • Coordinated projects result in significant change across the community’s pillars of need:
    Health, primary crime-prevention, education and economic independence.
  • Embedded in the fabric of the community through close relationships with key stakeholders,
    leveraging assistance where available.

Visit the Rays of Hope website