“What did you do to my boy? I simply can’t recognize him from who he was. Please don’t stop the programme!”, the mother of one of the BEST Boys urges. Sometimes you feel as if you witness a miracle, tells Frits Strietman. That explains the need for a BEST Boys workshop!

Frits had that miracle experience in Vredendal when he and Sylvia joined Fabio Charles from James House (Houtbay) on two home visits. “It was obvious: the BEST Boys programme created incredible change in the lives of boys with very serious behavioural problems. Boys that would never survive school and probably end up in jail, if not for James House. But is that really a miracle? After listening carefully to Fabio, we learned that it is more a matter of hard and systematic work, than of divine intervention…” And the good news? BEST Boys works, and you are invited to see if your programme could benefit from it. That is why BEST Boys is one of MAMAS Alliance Business Units. The BEST Boys (and Girls!) programme in Vredendal (Western Cape) is a satellite program of James House. It is supported by DSD and Children’s Fund MAMAS. BEST is short for Building Emotionally Strong Teens. Director Fabio Charles tells us more: “The BEST programme is a six-month, non-residential solution to prevent at-risk adolescent boys and girls, ages 12 -16 years with externalising behaviour entering a path that may be destructive to either themselves or others. The aim of the BEST programme is to prevent institutionalisation.” “BEST follows a strengths-based, developmental, and holistic approach, always taking into account the individual needs and BEST interest of each child in the context of their family circumstances, their community, and their school environment.” Workshop Fabio will let us in on the secrets of his amazing approach to change the lives of young people who are vulnerable to many dangers in society. As the chairperson of the Business Unit BEST Boys Fabio will give a two and half day workshop to present and show the programme in action. This special BU workshop, which will be fully financed by Children’s fund MAMAS, will teach partner NGOs more about how to deal with boys at a difficult age and in difficult circumstances. We are looking forward to meeting more happy mothers who can’t believe the turnaround they are witnessing in their sons. Boys to be proud of! The very BEST!

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