a moral conscience: Jonathan Butler spoke of his foundation’s aims – to encourage people to live their dreams with a purpose and fight the scourge of drug abuse. PICTURE: GALLO IMAGES
Almost 2000 young people and invited guests gathered for an intimate performance at the Rhema Bible Church in Randburg as Jonathan Butler closed off his Grace and Mercy tour at the weekend.
The crowd pledged to live their dreams with a purpose – a message his foundation, the Jonathan Butler Foundation (JBF), recently launched in the country, will endeavour to support.
The 51 year-old performed a mix of his most famous songs from his Grace and Mercy album to an enthralled crowd.
Prior to the concert, Butler met with senior members of the Gauteng provincial government and discussed their partnership, which anticipates rolling out programmes in Eldorado Park as early as the December holidays.
The long break is a prime time for youth who are at risk of being compromised.
Plans are underway between the province and the foundation to implement substance abuse and youth reorientation programmes, including the training of child and youth care workers from mid-February 2014.
The foundation will run a series of diversion programmes rooted in music and the arts to provide the children with a space in which to creatively express themselves and focus their energies on their own individual and collective purpose.
Speaking of the partnership, MEC Mayathula-Khoza said: “We welcome all efforts that unite us to fight the scourge of drug abuse and or substance dependence in our communities.
“It is therefore gratifying to partner with various institutions, including influential and patriotic South Africans like our esteemed Jonathan Butler whose moral conscience has directed attention to the plight of his country.
“The Jonathan Butler Foundation therefore responds at a time when the Gauteng government has taken a robust stance to creating an integrated intervention model that can influence our country’s approach to fighting the ravages of drugs in our families and communities at large.
“We therefore welcome the partnership and I therefore congratulate the foundation and its initiator for confirming that it indeed takes a village to raise a child.”
Butler said: “This last week has been an emotional rollercoaster for me – it has been a lifelong dream, which has now become a reality.
“I have been truly blessed by the positive reaction to the launch of the Foundation”.
Butler’s goal is to do another fund-raising and awareness campaign in Cape Town and other cities across South Africa in 2014.