REACH is a national non-profit organization (NPO) in South Africa originally established in 1994 in Oudtshoorn in the Western Cape Province. In October of 2002, REACH Bloemfontein, an affiliate of the national NPO, was founded as a community development program working in the community of Heidedal in Bloemfontein, Free State Province. REACH Bloemfontein was born out of combined inter-denominational church-based youth initiatives to address the impacts of and stigma surrounding high rates of unemployment and related societal issues such as crime and substance abuse, as well as the pandemic scourge of HIV/AIDS infected and affected community members.
REACH Bloemfontein has been active in the Heidedal Community for more than 10 years, since its inception in October 2002. The Organisation was composed by the representation of the different Church youth groups and their Youth Leaders made up the Board of Directors. This constituency unanimously elected and appointed Patrick Kaars as the Project Director.
Initially, community developmental work has been done amongst the youth with the emphasis on HIV/AIDS affected and infected youth. This took place in the form of Awareness Campaigns through the utilization of focused Values-driven activities such as Arts and Culture and Sport and Recreational programmes. The impact of these programmes have been so effective, to the extent that the Provincial Departments of Social Development and Education bought into the vision and mission of the Organization, by committing funding to the projects. This in turn, provided more capacity to the enthusiastic youngsters.
In time the focus shifted more towards In-School youth and away from the informal association of people towards a professional Service Provider.
REACH Bloemfontein underwent an institutional transformation, aiming at improved sustainability and greater outreach. In concurrence with this transformation, REACH Bloemfontein has changed its name to Reach Our Community (ROC) Foundation. Although our name has changed, our commitment to serve, develop and transform our community remains steadfast. We are thankful for your continued support during this transition.