Safe haven for single moms and fatherless boys

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From the left are Morné Basson, Chris Pelser and Jaco van Schalkwyk from the Character Company. PHOTO: PIERCE VAN HEERDEN

With the goal of raising boys to become good men, The Character Company inspires boys to become people with strong values which positively impact families, communities and society. This is done via a long-term “MENtorship” programme.
The Christian-based organisation primarily works with young boys between the ages of five and ten as an intake age, but the long-term mentorship approach means that the company will continue to be part of their lives throughout their school career and beyond.
Dad and founder of The Character Company, Jaco van Schalkwyk, told Bloemfontein Courant that it was established in 2013 after he saw the impact that absent fathers have on young boys and society. “I grew up with an absent father and being involved in the non-profit sector for twenty two years, I saw the need for father figures (or mentors) in the lives of boys,” he said.
The Character Company has weekly activities for similar age groups of not more than five boys at a time, weekend activities where all the groups and sometimes families come together, as well as various camps throughout the year. The company also provides a support structure for single mothers and advocates for the better treatment of women and children.
Chris Pelser, who is a “MENtor”, told Bloemfontein Courant that they are currently looking for more mentors for their Bloemfontein and other branches to get involved and help make a change in the lives of young boys. “There is a positive impact that can be made and we invite men who see the value of mentorship to enter the programme and realise the value of growing up with a father who will help teach the kids,” said Pelser.
To find out more about The Character Company or to get involved, visit its website: www.thecharactercompany.co.za. – PIERCE VAN HEERDEN
pierce@mahareng.co.za