Help The Changemakers

From top left Changemakers: Delano Ayer, Lezano Ayer, Samantha Toweel-Moore, Wandile Billings, Tyedan Toweel-Moore, Helen Desbois, Taylin Toweel-Moore and Dehandray Rifles. From bottom left: Brandon Tanzwane, Casavan Hill, Willis Aaron and Ruviene Hill.

From a football club to an entire village, Changemakers is growing in Joburg and, ultimately, in South Africa.

Changemakers are volunteers and children who are involved in the Growing Champions Football Club, which began in the south of Johannesburg by Fairland resident and therapist, Samantha Toweel-Moore.

Toweel-Moore, daughter of legendary boxer Willie Toweel, who now lives in Fontainebleau, said she had always been inspired by her father’s actions.

This inspired her to launch the non-profit organisation that empowers children from low-income groups and abusive, drug and gang infested homes, to become functional, balanced members of society.

“When [my dad] stepped out of the ring as a man in his late seventies and stopped physically training boxers, he never stopped helping people fight the good fight – in his honour. [He] always fought for change and he and his brothers negotiated with Piet Koornhof, the then minister of sport, to break apartheid in sport and put on the first multiracial tournament ever in South Africa,” Toweel-Moore told the Northcliff/Melville Times.

“Growing Champions was founded to help the youth of South Africa glove-up to break free from the shackles of their toxic inheritance and become role models and positive contributors to society,” she said.

Initially started out as a football club, the organisation will now move a step further when it will open its first Growing Champions Village.

“The centre will develop the youth into courageous changemakers with a passion for contribution. A move from entitlement to empowerment, from criminal mindset to the mindset of champions,” she said.

Toweel-Moore is appealing to businesses and residents to give their time and expertise to children in the village.

Growing Champions Football Club coach, Delano Ayer mentored from gang member and crystal meth addict to Changemaker by Toweel-Moore, is one of the organisation’s success stories.

“When I was leading a life of crime and selling my soul for drugs for nearly a decade I never dreamt I could become a Changemaker. But Sam shared her dad’s legacy with me and gave me the scaffolding to climb out of the deep pit I was in,” explained Ayer.

To raise funds for the village Toweel-Moore is launching a campaign called, Soften the Blow.

This campaign encourages sportsmen, corporate, average citizens and experts to help Changemakers by giving a bit of their time and knowledge, softening the blow for children living in poverty, abuse, rape, violence, loss, addiction and crime, until they are in the position to do the same for someone else.

Soften the Blow merchandise will be launched on 31 May, the date when Toweel-Moore’s uncle, Vic Toweel won the world bantamweight title for South Africa in 1950 at the age of 21.

Details: [email protected] or 0828033866 and visit

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Chantelle Fourie
Metro Reporter

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