Project Portfolio

Message Trust - Gangstar Cafe

The Message Trust is a worldwide movement passionately sharing the love of Jesus Christ in words and actions with the hardest-to-reach young people and communities. The project brief required additions and alterations to an existing building to create offices, training spaces, and a café.

The café, named "Gangstar Café," is a social enterprise of The Message Trust, launched in April 2017 as South Africa's pioneering coffee shop. Gangstar Café provides training and employment opportunities to previously incarcerated individuals, aiming to break the cycle of re-offending, crime, and gangsterism. The name symbolizes the transition from a past of gangsterism ("Gang") to a future filled with hope and opportunity ("Star").

South Africa faces significant challenges, including the world's second-highest youth unemployment rate. Additionally, eight out of ten ex-offenders in the country re-offend, often due to a lack of meaningful job opportunities. The Message Trust, through Gangstar Café, addresses this issue by offering ex-offenders job readiness training, barista skills development, and job-shadowing opportunities. These initiatives empower ex-offenders to secure employment and become responsible, contributing members of society.

Construction plan of Gangstar Cafe and The Message Trust offices