Our Projects

Helping Children to Help Themselves

Our Challenge is:-

  • To alleviate boredom caused by the absence of stimulating activities.
  • To reduce the involvement in crime and reduce the dependency on drugs by providing alternative activities.
  • To provide positive role models and develop key skills.
  • To reduce the feeling of low self-esteem and encourage positive ambition, to inspire and engage young minds.
  • To provide a positive opportunity for the less academic.
  • To improve health and well being, have fun and grow minds.
  • To develop a generation of children who can realise their future goals.

Smutsville Recycle SwopShop


The Smutsville Recycle Swop Shop is the first FreshStart Sedgefield empowerment project. It is situated at Smutsville Primary School in Smutsville and operates from 13h30 to 16h00 every Wednesday during school terms. It is aimed at children aged 6 to 16 years. There are currently 680 registered collectors and they bring in over a ton of waste material each week.

The Smutsville Recycle Swop Shop project not only teaches children the value of personal effort, it also educates them on the environmental issues around waste.

Most importantly children are inspired to:

  • Regular action.
  • Clean up their environment.
  • Minimise waste through recycling.
  • Have goals and purpose.
  • Develop pride in their achievements.
  • Acquire essential and aspirational items through their own effort.

Their action brings them joy and personal pride

Children collect and separate recyclable material and “swop” it for MULA  points. Using these MULA, the children “acquire” items from The Smutsville Recycle SwopShop – they are also able to save MULA points towards bigger items. The shop stocks second hand clothing, toys, sports equipment, bedding, books, pens and pencils as well as new stationery items needed for school, and toiletries. The latter are most popular, with children clamoring for toilet soap, facecloths, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorants and toilet paper.

In addition to receiving a warm welcome, lots of encouragement and MULA, each child is also given fresh fruit every visit……..and leaves with a sense of achievement and a new goal.

Kids Corner

Kids Corner.


Time is now set aside at the Swop Shop for a safe play area. After the children have traded their points, they are encouraged to spend “quality, fun, me time” with their own friends and our volunteers.

‘The Kids Corner’ is a gentle, inviting, safe, nurturing place under the shade of the gazebo where the children can simply ‘be children’! They can play, draw, do face painting with each other, listen to songs, sing along ( when they know the words! ), read or be read to.

This gives the children a chance to interact with others, with adults, with children of different backgrounds and more importantly, a freedom to be whom they really are.



Boredom, lack of opportunities for the less academic, and then the subsequent involvement in crime and drug dependency can be an issue in most communities.

Our Girls Soccer Project offers an out-of-school activity that teaches skills, life lessons, promotes health and well-being, addresses some of the challenges that the children face, and helps to alleviate boredom caused by the absence of stimulating activities.

The girls train at the Smutsville sports field on week days, after school, (except Wednesday) after they have completed their home chores, and on Saturdays. They are coached by a local Smutsville resident, Vusylie Pauli ( supported by Smutville resident freshStart volunteers in the role of chaperones ) and, on occasion, a senior SAFA women’s coach, Phumeza Ngwane. They are also encouraged to take ownership of tasks, such as managing equipment and participating in their own small fundraising activities, so that they also learn the values of hard work and how to help themselves.

The reward of their hard work is now paying dividends. 2 girls at under 15 and 2 girls at under 13, have been chosen to play for the Local Football Association and represent the Western Cape. As a result, these hard working young ladies get to travel, and spend time away from the ‘demands at home’.

The girl’s learn many lessons: self-discipline and good behaviour, team work, commitment, self-control, self-worth, positive ambition; inclusivity, managing success /failure, financial appreciation/value.

Our Girls

Health Care

Health Care.

Some of the children suffer from various ailments, many of them minor, often skin related, that may get out of hand when not treated. Marti Rooi is our “resident angel” with all seeing eyes.  She easily spots a minor illness or injury, nothing escapes her, and the children respond well to her healing touch. Best of all she is trusted by the children, and a friend to all. If an injury or illness appears more serious, Marti will summon a taxi and accompany the patient to the local clinic where they are seen promptly.

The children are also instructed in personal hygiene and encouraged to wash their hands.