Hostelworld 2013 Hoscar winner 1st in South Africa

The Backpack

Our skipping ropes are specially made for use in Gymnastic skipping and can be purchased locally. It is our pleasure at The Backpack Cape Town to facilitate this for you at your request. We would have to have purchased these prior to your arrival as they have to be ordered in advance. Please contact us at this email address,, if you would like us to purchase these skipping ropes that will be donated on your behalf.


The Great Commission United Academy in Heideveld in the Cape Flats. GCU was set up in 2001 by Mario van Niekerk. Born and bred in Heideveld, Mario had witnessed many of the community’s problems first hand and felt passionate about helping many of the area youth and keeping them off the streets. Hence the Soccer Academy was born.

GCU is not just a football club, it has expanded into a wider range of community activities including rope skipping, tutoring, life skills, school for dropouts, mentorships and way out of being trapped in the cycle of gangs and drugs.


General School Supplies:
Book bags, Colored pencils, Crayons, Erasers, Highlighters, Markers, Pencils, Pencil Cases/Bags, Pens, and Rulers

Art Supplies:
Craft Scissors, Watercolor Paints and Brushes, and Wool and Knitting Needles

Text/Reading Books:
(English) Age Appropriate Story Books

Bananagrams, Chess Sets, Connect Four, Puzzles, and Scrabble

Music Instruments:
Castanets, Cymbals, Guiros, Harmonicas/kazoos, Maracas, Recorders, Tambourines, Triangles, and Xylophones

Sports/Outdoor Activity:
Baseball Caps (all sizes), Jump Ropes, New or Gently Used Soccer Boots/Cleats (all sizes), Soccer Balls, Team Uniforms/Knits for Soccer, Water Bottles, and Whistles

New or Gently Used Children’s Clothing and Shoes, New Underwear (ages 4 to 18), Sneakers/Trainers (sizes 4 to adult), and Socks (ages 4 to 18)

Computer Hardware/Software:
Digital Cameras

Initiatives Supported

All the needs are current as of October 9, 2015

Listed on this page are the specific needs requested by the community project(s) so you can choose exactly what to pack for a purpose and express your gratitude to the local community with the supplies you take them.

Candy and balloons are not on the needs list as they are harmful for the children and the environment for the following reasons:
• Few of the children benefiting from these projects have access to toothpaste, toothbrushes, or a dentist. The candy promotes cavities.
• The balloons once they become deflated are a choking hazard for local wildlife.

Instead of taking candy or balloons, use that space for additional requested supplies, as they are priceless.