Recent Blogs:

Welcome to our new volunteers

The Outreach Foundation is happy to welcome our new volunteers Ben Storjohann and Tim Stoklossa to our team. Ben will be joining our computer team and Tim will be joining our counselling team. We are excited to see what we will achieve together and cannot wait to see the impact we have on our community.

Ben Storjohann
Tim Stoklossa

A message from Tim

My name is Tim Stoklossa and I am from Hannover, Germany. I graduated
High School in June and in August I came to South Africa to work at the
Outreach Foundation and to discover the country and the culture.
In Germany I sang in a choir and played guitar. Also I worked in a youth
group in my church.
In my few days here I got to know a lot of people. They all
were very obliging and were glad to meet me. I am very happy to be here
and I hope to gather many new experiences here.

A message from Ben

My name is Ben Storjohann and I am from Frankfurt, Germany. I just graduated High School and I am now taking a gap year. I’m really grateful to be able to work at the Lutheran Outreach Foundation. The amount of courses and opportunities to grow, that are offered here at the Foundation truly amaze me. I’m loving the country, the culture and the people so far and can’t wait to get to know the area and my colleagues even further. Thank you for being so welcoming and I hope we can create some awesome memories in the next year together.


15th Inner-City High Schools Drama Festival

A huge congratulations to all those who competed in the 15th Inner-City High Schools Drama Festival over the past two weeks. The turnout was amazing and the performances were outstanding. This programme is made possible through funding from City of Johannesburg – Arts Alive Festival, Department of Arts and Culture, Rand Merchant Bank, Ford Foundation, Bread for the World. Our valued partners include the Market Theatre Laboratory, GALA, Drama for Life, Exclusive Books and Assitej South Africa.

In a week that has brought violence and hatred to our neighbourhood the festival persisted to provide a positive and safe space for young people to share their stories. We thank all the schools that joined us after two days of suspending the festival. Our challenge now is to find creative ways to celebrate the work of schools that felt it was unsafe to come to Hillbrow. Thank you to the adjudicators, teachers, parents, learners, Drama for Life students and interns, Underground Entertainment and to the festival team and staff who supported us through this week!

It was wonderful to have John Meletse, queer deaf activist, return to the Inner-City High Schools Drama Festival! Inspiring words as we celebrate Deaf Awareness Week. Thank you to Cherae Halley and Sizwile School for the Deaf for again being part of our festival!


New Pretoria Offices

We are excited to announce the opening of our new Migrant Support offices in Pretoria.

For more information visit our Facebook page here.


Recent Media Coverage:

Alex News Coverage - Art is alive and kicking in the City of Joburg

JOHANNESBURG – This year’s Arts Alive festival promises to be even much better and empowers residents of Johannesburg City region.1 day ago

MMC Nonhlanhla Sifumba talks to members of the Media. Photo: Phathu Luvhengo

The mayor of the City of Johannesburg, councillor Herman Mashaba believes the Arts Alive International Festival will give residents in the city region hope.

Mashaba spoke at the launch of this year’s festival on Thursday 29 August at the Joburg Theatre and said that when he became the mayor of the City, he focused his first State of the City Address on the ‘forgotten people’. “We cannot have a situation where we forget about our residents,” he said.

“We have to bring them into the mainstream of our economy and I think we are committed to doing that.”

He said the arts is going to save the City of Johannesburg and help build society as everything revolves around arts.

Mashaba added that he had extensively travelled the world and, in any country, he has ever been, he has made sure that he goes to see the arts in that country.

He thanked the MMC for Community Development, councillor Nonhlanhla Sifumba and her team for making the arts part of the mayoral priority which will assist them in driving the economy and build the people.

The City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba says the arts will give residents of Johannesburg hope. Photo: Phathu Luvhengo

Sifumba said the City was showcasing artists and their talent during the Arts Alive Festival. Various activities are planned citywide for the entire September to mark Heritage Month. “This is the 27th Arts Alive and, as the City of Johannesburg, we are proud to be part of it – it’s a month-long programme. If you are not living in the City, please relocate because the spring is here,” she said.

Sifumba said their programme will run for the whole month of September. “Arts Alive is about exploring our culture in the City of Johannesburg. It’s a melting pot of different cultures, so Arts Alive is about celebrating that.”

This year Arts Alive Festival launched with Jazz on the Lake on Sunday, 1 September, kicking off a long and stimulating programme for all residents. The festival is a programme which celebrates Joburg’s diversity through music, dance, theatre, community festivals, educational workshops, and art exhibitions.

The 15th InnerCity High School Drama Festival started on Friday, 30 August and will run until Saturday, 7 September where the best production award will be presented to the top high school by the Outreach Foundation. Forty schools have registered to participate in this film production.

The Gauteng Government will host the Intellectual Property and Music Rights Workshop to assist in avoiding the ills experienced by artists in South Africa at Eyethu Lifestyle Centre in Mofolo, Soweto on 16 September.

Among other activities include the inter-continental dance championships to be attended by 15 countries at the Walter Sisulu Hall in Randburg from 26 to 29 September. The dance championship is hosted by the Dance Supreme. The Beat Makers will host a workshop on 21 September to inspire children using music in Region C.

From 13 to 15 September, FNB Art Joburg will host an exhibition with a strong lifestyle component of the fair, encouraging visitors to interact with South African and African creative networks at Sandton Convention Centre.

Details: City of Johannesburg; 011 407 6024.


The 15th Annual Inner-City High Schools Drama Festival

The City of Joburg recently featured us on their website in respect to our Inner-City High Schools Drama Festival. Read what they have to say below or view the original post at

The Outreach Foundation present the 15th annual Inner-City High Schools Drama Festival as part of Arts Alive Johannesburg 2019 this September. Come and see how young people are thinking about their world, how they engage with each other and their own identities. 

The 15th Annual Inner-City High Schools Drama Festival

We had a chat with two representatives from the Outreach Foundation to find out more about their upcoming Inner-City High Schools Drama Festival.

The Outreach Foundation is a non-profit organisation based in Hillbrow, Johannesburg. They work predominantly with young people living in the inner-city. Fostering a love of learning through the arts, the Outreach Foundation is a vital body of hard-working and dedicated practitioners, educators and counsellors.

Each year before the festival a team of facilitators go into inner-city schools to work with learners on a weekly basis. Facilitators from the Outreach Foundation’s Performing Arts Project, young artists working in the city and second-year Market Theatre Laboratory students make up this team. Learners from these schools then present their work at the Hillbrow Theatre at the Inner-City High Schools Drama Festival. This year’s festival is presented as part of the Johannesburg Arts Alive International Festival.

15 Years of Celebrating Young Talent

“At school we only follow the textbooks, while at the theatre we follow our minds,” – Isaro Cast Member, Inner-City High Schools Drama Festival 2013.

High Schools Drama Festival

The Inner-City High Schools Drama Festival celebrates its 15th anniversary in September 2019. The festival has been made possible through the continued support of inner-city schools, their principals, parents and partner organisations. One of which is The City of Johannesburg, whom have supported the festival since its inception. Other funders include Department of Arts and Culture, Rand Merchant Bank, Ford Foundation and Bread for the World. In addition, the Market Theatre Laboratory have provided guidance, training and equipment for the past seven years. 

The Outreach Foundation celebrate this milestone with a record number of 41 participating schools at this year’s festival! Each school will perform an original work starring their most talented students.

The theme for this year’s festival is Gender and Sexuality:

“Gender and Sexuality is a complex part of being a teenager. It is vital that teachers, parents and young people courageously engage in these conversations,” the Outreach Foundation says. “This theme will hopefully give us courage to explore the unhealthy silence around these topics that plagues our country. [We hope to] encourage learners and facilitators to engage this topic individually and in their communities long after the festival closes.”

The challenge of the Inner-City High Schools Drama Festival 2019 is to encourage inter-generational discussions about gender and sexuality. Bringing these conversations into the theatre is one of the ways that the foundation aim to bridge boundaries.

“Sex is complicated and complex. Theatre is complex and complicated. Theatre can be naughty, it can be playful, you can be daring on stage and you can play around with different roles, personas and genders. Sex can be funny, undignified and ridiculous…and so can theatre. Both sex and theatre are exhilarating, dangerous, fun and risky,” they argue. 

The goal is ultimately to employ the arts as a powerful tool. Allowing young people to re-imagine themselves and the world they live in. By sharing their stories with their parents, peers and audiences, there is hope that they may find commonality and freedom, creating “allies” for those that have been made to feel “othered”. 

Festival Line-Up

You can expect a jam-packed line up at this year’s festival. Over five days, the 41 schools will present their original productions. The concluding day of the festival will see the adjudicators present the top four finalists and awards to outstanding performers. The adjudication panel features the likes of Mpho Molepo, poet Khutjo Green and director and writer Napo Masheane. 

“It is amazing how young people, given a chance, start to speak about who they are and where they come from,” Masheane says. 

Nine schools will present their works on stage per day. The festival kicks off on Friday, 30 August 2019 at 10:00 and runs until Saturday, 7 September 2019. Tickets cost only R15 per person for each show, so you really have no excuse not to attend! Contact to reserve your tickets.

High Schools Drama Festival