Five Cees


Hillbrow is one of Africa's most dangerous neighborhoods. The area in Central Johannesburg is one visitors to the city will often be warned not to wander, due to its high levels of street crime, gang violence, rapes and robberies.

This area is also home to thousands of children affected by South Africa's AIDS and HIV crisis. South Africa in general has an alarmingly high rate of orphans and vulnerable children who are at risk of falling into cycles of destructive behavior. Without a strong, positive influence in their lives, what is their to counter their everyday surroundings? 5Cees is a care center for these children, dedicated to opening doors towards a better future.


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Visit coordination // REV. MIKE SUNKER
Thesis advising // KATHIE CARPENTER
Research support // DYANA MASON
Research support // STEPHEN WOOTEN

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5Cees became a place extremely close to my heart. In 2013, I spent a few months living at the center, forming relationships with the kids and mentoring a few of the teenage boys. In 2016, I got to take a return visit and see many of those same kids after they had grown. The center became the subject of my masters' thesis at the University of Oregon, which I completed at the end of 2016.


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An illustration of personal experiences by one of the children at 5Cees. (Lazaro, 2016)

An illustration of personal experiences by one of the children at 5Cees. (Lazaro, 2016)





The kids of 5Cees became some of my greatest teachers, and I've written extensively about the things they've taught me in various publications.

Philippe Lazaro