The purpose of the Yebo Life's field stories is to record and share the successes of our ministry partners as well as the details of how God is moving in the people and communities we work with. This month, we take a closer look at the story and impact of Sisterhood, a program under the Future Life umbrella. We sat down with founder, Sydney Priester, over a cup of tea to find out more.
What is Sisterhood?
Sisterhood is an Art Discipleship program for girls ages 4-14 that live in Capricorn Park and Vrygrond. It’s a safe space where they are able to make art, share stories, learn about Jesus, and eat snacks together.
How did it start?
The girls we work with live in very corrupt circumstances, and as a result, they are in extreme need of discipleship, guidance, and a safe space to be girls. In March 2016, a local father shared with me about wanting his daughters to be discipled and about his struggle to adequately do so given their daily environment. With all of the peer pressure and continual exposure to negative situations, he suggested that it would be much better for the girls to be discipled in larger groups, instead of just two or three in isolation.
After that conversation, Sydney almost immediately began meeting weekly with a handful of girls in the back of a small house in Capricorn Park.
How has Sisterhood grown since then?
Since starting those small meetings over a year ago, Sisterhood has changed locations—into a large shipping container that we transformed into an art studio. We now meet three times a week (instead of just once) in different age groups. Today, there are more than 60 girls that attend our program!
What changes are you seeing in the girls?
Creating is relaxing for them. Through the medium of art, the girls can respond to what God is saying to them. Every week, we have lessons and activities that encourage them to reflect on their lives and identities as children of God.
The girls have taken ownership of Sisterhood. They really do feel like they belong—and they do! Every week, they take is upon themselves to arrive early, help prepare the space for lessons, tidy up, and eagerly volunteer to assist the younger girls.
What's in store for the future?
With dreams to expand the ministry, Sisterhood is in the process of formalizing a replicable structure and an art curriculum. It is operating at full capacity at the moment, and in order to sustain growth, we need more long-term leaders and volunteers. My prayer is that local people would fulfill the call to expand Sisterhood, rather than outsiders. Help us pray that doors would be opened and that funding would flow in, so that this ministry continues to impact and empower a generation of young girls across the Cape Flats!
There are so many pressing needs in communities like Capricorn Park and Vrygond. Gangsterism, drug abuse, broken families, and poverty to name a few. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and burdened by all of the challenges, but Sydney and her team of leaders stay focused on loving each girl that walks through the door and ensuring her that she belongs. The heart of Sisterhood is all about loving the person in front of you—not a far cry from Jesus’s own ministry.
If you'd like to give to this amazing ministry, please email Catherine Krabbe at email@example.com with your details.