Trulife was formed by founder and director, Colin Edmonds, in January 2011. Colin had spent a number of years previously working with teenagers and schools and so had witnessed first-hand the desperate need for some sort of intervention in the lives of South Africa’s youth. His goal in forming the organisation was to address common issues he saw which negatively impacted the next generation from reaching their full potential; providing them with information and skills; inspiring them to change their thinking about certain behaviour; and ultimately motivating them to go out and be the change they want to see in their communities.
It was decided early on that a live theatre production would be the best tool for delivering Trulife’s message. However, the team had many memories of other theatre groups coming to their schools in the past and being perceived as “boring”, “irrelevant”, “preachy” and having little or no impact. It was therefore decided that in order to be received in the right way the productions would need to be of a high professional standard, appeal to the youth through their use of comedy, contemporary music, dance and media elements, and capture a specific message in a performance lasting no longer than 45 minutes.
In its first year, Trulife created one production – Justice – and focused on developing a detailed strategy of how best to reach its target audience. The team consisted of 10 people, all unpaid volunteers, who worked tirelessly to build relationships with schools, create material and develop the live productions.
The organisation has since gone from strength to strength, constantly pushing itself to do better and to reach more schools. Over the years the productions have grown to cover 7 topics; workshops and seminars have been added; and printed/digital curriculum has been specifically designed for each topic.
Restoration of Hope Ministries is a registered PB, NPO and welfare organisation, under which Trulife is an outreach program.