Ocean View High School and Masiphumelele High Schools are in bordering communities in Cape Town, South Africa. Although culturally very different, both experience high crime rates and gangs, often having a knock-on effect on the children in the communities, with poor school attendance,  behaviour and attainment. Atlas has introduced rugby programmes to help tackle these issues, using coaches to mentor the children and help them with their behaviour and creating safe-spaces out of the reach of the gangs.  

The programme is inspiring leadership and pride amongst the teenagers, offering a lifeline away from gangs, drugs, and alcohol and help young people  create more and better choices for the future.  


The Masiphumelele community has a large problem with alcohol and the Ocean View communities is plagued with illegal drugs and crime. Children were often absent from school but the supplementary health sessions offered as part of the Atlas programme have seen a sharp decrease in use by young people and over 4000 days of schooling has been shared between the programme’s 94 pupils in the last 3 months. Truancy does is still a problem, but is gradually improving.  

A supply of female hygiene products has meant menstruation is no longer the reason girls miss school, and sessions on drugs, alcohol, healthy relationships, healthy eating, female hygiene, consent, and self-worth have recorded a shift on students mind-set and confidence. Over 7 children have become official young leaders of the programme, driving self-motivation and empowerment for their fellow peers.