Mark Jeneker Foundation
Mark Jeneker is a firm believer in the art of changing lives. He loved art as a child but fell into a life of crime and violence. Remembering how positive and calming art was to him as a kid, Jeneker began to develop his artistic skills as a coping tool that kept him out of trouble later into his adult life. After seeing how art was able to turn his own life around, Jeneker felt a calling to teach art to kids in the crime ridden neighborhood of Mitchells Plain, outside of Cape Town, South Africa.
Jeneker knows that the artistic lifes is a much more positive, beneficial and secure way to contribute back to society so, in 2013, he began teaching in the Mitchells Plain Library for free. As his program became more popular, Jeneker expanded into several primary schools and libraries in Mitchells Plain, teaching thousands of students every week. He provides the children with supplies, lessons and a safe space to create. Jeneker states that when he first came into the primary schools “all the kids talked about was crime and gangs, but now all they talk about is their love for art.”
In 2016, Jeneker was voted as a Lead South African Hero and three of his pupils won the Golden Award at the Metro South School District art competition. In 2017 Jeneker created the Mark Jeneker Foundation in an effort to expand his influence on his community. So far, Jeneker has been able to sell 15 of his students paintings and 100 percent of those profits go back to the students in an effort to encourage them to keep creating art. His foundation and the opportunities that come from it shed light on a new and optimistic outlook for children who otherwise would not have the same options for their future.
The Mark Jeneker Foundation has no consistent sources of donations which means that Jeneker pays for all of the art supplies and his studio space out of his own pocket. Mark Jeneker has dreams of expanding his foundation into all of the schools in Mitchells Plain but in order to do that he will need funding to purchase more supplies and pay more employees to create more jobs in the community. Most importantly, he wants to be able to sell more of the pupils artwork so that he can continue to provide an escape for the children that are feeling negative pressure from their community. Please support the Mark Jeneker Foundation in his efforts to paint South Africa’s future!