Greater Commission United (GCU) is a non-profit organization based in Heideveld, Cape Town. Established in 2001 by Mario van Niekerk, GCU provides life-changing sporting and education opportunities to disadvantaged, impoverished youth between the ages of 7 and 18 years. The primary aim of GCU is to guard against youth gangsterism within the Heideveld community by motivating students with positive and productive alternatives and academic support. With a strong emphasis on improving students’ English literacy, fine motor skills, discipline, and concentration, the organization provides positive recreational activities and strong support from community role models. By increasing each student’s self-esteem, enthusiasm for reading and studying, and general well-being, GCU aims to encourage the youth to complete their education and access post-school opportunities to break the cycle of poverty. The literary and sporting programs operate mainly from the five primary schools in Heideveld and reach up to 3500 learners weekly. They support and encourage school dropouts to return to school, provide mentorships, and a way out of being trapped in the cycle of gangs and drugs.
GCU’s sister organization, Goal 50, runs its programs outside of the primary schools in Heideveld, focusing on feeding schemes and early childhood development.