20 Years Of Building A Future

A Dream Come True

Against all odds Irene Fitzi founded and operates Building A Future (BAF) in a way that seems impossible by others. Being a police officer in Barkly West, Irene saw how kids got involved in crime by simply hanging around the wrong people at the wrong places.


This is how BAF was born in 1996 by addressing the youth in Barkly and by offering after-school programs like art and sports. Over the years many more activities and programs like music lessons, education, food and even financial assistance were added. Irene loves to give joy and hope to kids. She has this natural graceful gift. She sees a need and she does something about it without being limited by money or means.

This combined with a genuine heart for people and believing in them despite their shortcomings, led to BAF being a unique social venture. Irene has a passion that attracts you and at the same time, challenges you to think about what you are achieving with your own life.

One of Irene’s mottos which empowers’ her; “I can do all things through Christ Jesus, who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13. Much of who Irene is, she got from her parents and family. Up until today her father and her sisters are her support network. Presently they are all actively involved in the work of BAF.

MC inside smallDuring the early days of BAF, Irene already had the vision of a youth center in Barkly West. While there were no finances and the idea seemed just impossible to others, she carried her vision over all these years. Today we can see what is called, Mzansi Center “Phase One”. Irene’s vision goes beyond this building. This is just the beginning!

Every year the organization ‘South African Counsel for Business Women’ runs a competition for Business Woman of the year in the categories; Entrepreneurs, Corporate, NPO and others. This year Business Woman of the Year 2016 NPO belongs to Irene Fitzi for her work within Building A Future.

Irene Fitzi with young Rising Stars 4Who is this remarkable woman? She was born and raised in Kimberley, Green Point and Barkly West. She studied Marketing and Sales Management, worked as a police officer in Barkly West and got married to her Swiss husband, Stefan in 2000. Their marriage has blessed them with two children, Yaron (9) and Yana (7).  They lived in Switzerland for 14 years while still running BAF and moved back to Barkly West in 2013. Her thanks go to all her family and to those investing in the lives of the people of Barkly West.

BAF: Building A Future – to empower the children and youth

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