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The story of the then “Boys Town”, now “Girls and Boys Town” since 2004, is one of the most heart-warming tales of human endeavour of the 20th century. The Girls and Boys Town journey has been a tale of everyday life in most societies of the world – the tragedy of fear, loss, despair, abuse, neglect and the triumph of faith, courage and hope that changes the way we care for children. Its legacy is about fulfilling dreams and bettering lives. In 1958, Magaliesburg saw the first Boys Town residential home established – borne out of the compassion, altruism and social consciousness of its founders, initially providing a home for nine youngsters from a local children’s home who had been destined for a so-called trade school. These boys were soon joined by 17 others from children’s homes throughout the country and, since then, the organisation has continued to expand exponentially over the next 50 years – including focusing on work with girls.


The first 'family' at Magaliesburg

Off we go!

1958 The first Boys Town opens at Magaliesburg. The facility opened in a vacant mission school run by Dominican Sisters.

1968 First Liaison office launched in Johannesburg. Represents a new approach to financial
sustainability and sets the Boys Town’s fundraising approach apart from other charities.

1970 Camp Caroline holiday camp established at Munster, on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal, for youth unable to go home for the holidays.

1974 First Boys Town Family Home opens in Rondebosch, Cape Town. (More Family Homes
opened throughout the country during the late 70s and 80s.)

1975 Boys Town Magaliesburg burnt down by an old boy who was later institutionalised.

1978 Boys Town Genazzano-Tongaat opened in KwaZulu-Natal.

1979 Boys Town Duin-en-Dal (Crossroads, Cape) established. Relocated in 1986 due to unrest.

1988 Boys Town merges with PROSCESS – an organisation that caters for street children – and assumes responsibility for two facilities that provide care for 50 homeless children.

1989 Boys Town Macassar, Cape – formerly Duin-en-Dal – opens.

1992 PROSCESS boys move to new premises in the old Chamber of Mines Training College in
Randfontein. Property bought in 1994 and renamed Boys Town Kagiso.

1993 Old boy Joe Araujo appointed as Executive Director serving until his retirement in September 2007.

1996 Trainers from Boys Town Nebraska, USA visit to train and introduce the Family Teaching programme to staff. This becomes a nationally standardised child-care practice model for all Family Homes.

1999 Boys Town Kagiso opens. Our National Hotline
service is launched.

2001 First Training and Resource Centre established in Cape Town. Extensive staff training occurs and training programmes are marketed. Boys Town USA trainers visit to train our staff in the multi-faceted Education Model. Boys Town South Africa becomes the first certified and accredited site able to implement the Family Home Model of care outside of the USA.

2002 Received Site Certification and international recognition from Girls and Boys Town USA for the first time.

2003 Demand for training on a national level leads to the opening of a second Training and Resource centre in Gauteng.

2004 Name changes to Girls and Boys Town South Africa.

2005 First girls are admitted to our Alpha Family Home in Claremont, Cape Town. Wider services to girls (and boys) continue via our community outreach programmes, training centres and National Hotline.

2006 A chemical dependency programme is introduced.

2007 Lee Loynes appointed Chief Executive Officer – the first woman to lead the organisation. Lee was formerly Director: Youth Services and has served Girls and Boys Town for 14 years.

2008 Girls and Boys Town turns 50! and now offers youth, families and all those who impact on their lives, services from four divisions: Residential Services Division, Training and Education Services Division, Family Services Division and Quality Assurance and Research Division.





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