A missional evaluation of the LIFEPLAN® training and equipping programme for youth in rural areas: a case study of its impact in the Christiana district of South Africa
The youth in contemporary South Africa seemingly face immense challenges and experience severe problems. The farming communities in the Christiana District of the North-West Province South Africa, especially struggle with issues such as poverty, unemployment, alcoholism, violence, occultism and Satanism. Statistics obtained through empirical research prove a drastic decline in morals, values, standards, ethics, character and behaviour. This particular society seems to encounter one crisis after another. This is caused partly by millions of young people growing up as orphans and, even more so, without a father figure in their lives. The challenges are widespread with growing statistics of social ills such as substance use and abuse, violence, rape, child trafficking, or prostitution. As a result, the lives of numerous young people being destroyed. The present research has focused on the youth of the Christiana District of South Africa as target for holistic missional outreach programmes. The aim is to give hope and enrich the lives of young people despite the dilemmas communities are facing. The study did a missiological evaluation of an accredited community-engagement programme, LIFEPLAN® Training, Equipping, Programme. This programme was assessed in a constructive, creative-critical way, from a missio-Dei perspective. LIFEPLAN® focuses on various relevant aspects that deal with the above-mentioned problems. The programme seeks creative solutions to inspire and equip young people as responsible citizens in their communities. The goal is to provide a guide and aid for outreach to the youth of this district. This entails changing, resolving, improving, and enriching the lives of young people. The programme helps ensure a Christ-like behaviour as a valid alternative for destructive lifestyles and producing to a more meaningful and productive life. After a critical evaluation of LIFEPLAN®, recommendations are made on amending the programme for use as a tool by churches and organisations. The tool should help them reach out to broken communities with holistic mission as instruments of God’s transforming grace.
- Theology