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June 2012 Newsletter

posted Feb 5, 2013, 7:24 AM by Peter Johannsen   [ updated Feb 5, 2013, 9:21 AM ]
Dear Friend of KYP,

It is with great excitement that I share with you that on May 27th we celebrated our 5th anniversary. We have come so far since our inception, now serving 400 children in Kliptown, and yet we still have a long way to go. The last few months have been filled with both great happiness and sadness. We are so excited that our three new classrooms are finally finished and ready to be opened on June 6th. Thank you to all the organizations, individuals, and families who made this achievement possible.

At the same time, we are still mourning the loss of our dear colleague and KYP family member, Xolani Dube, who passed away on April 5th. Xolani was an essential member of our community and his spirit will never be forgotten, and the rest of the KYP staff has come together now more than ever to overcome this challenge.

While we have accomplished so much, we still have much farther to go. Now that we have our additional classroom space, we need to raise funds for additional tutoring. It costs us R200 (~$30) per tutor for every afternoon they spend helping our members. Our ideal is to find the resources to hire 6 tutors 4 days a week to help our children throughout the year. R220 000 (~$33,000) is a big goal, but again, with your help, we know we can achieve it!


Thulani Madondo
Director, Kliptown Youth Program

New Classroom Building Project Complete! 

We are so pleased to celebrate the opening of our new tutoring program classrooms on June 6. This development has been one of our goals since we started our tutoring program, and the additional classrooms will be used to operate our tutoring program more effectively. With the new classrooms, we are able to provide twice as many days of tutoring to our children.

Everyone has been excited to see the building rise at the centre, especially the children as they know they will benefit a lot from the new classrooms. Those of you who have visited us know that one significant difficulty we faced was the limited classroom space to serve our 380+ members. We could only provide our members with tutoring twice a week, but with this opportunity, we will be able to double our available classroom space. Now each member will be able to get tutoring every day whether it rains or not and they will be able to stay cooler in the heat of the summer with a roof over their heads. Before the new classrooms, such issues were a big disadvantage because children cannot learn effectively outside when the weather is in a bad state.

Micap Architectural has helped us build the classrooms, and they want to continue to help our organization in other ways. Micap and th
e Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) together funded the construction of a additional office space in the new building, which is much appreciated by all the staff of KYP. We are so fortunate to become connected with them, and we are happy that our community has been pitching in to help make sure the project progresses smoothly. 

Seeing the successful completion of this project is an ultimate achievement for us. Not only will our children's education be improved, but our centre will have a brand new look.

KYP Receives Bertha Foundation Challenge Grant 

We first knew that it might be possible for us to construct the new classrooms when we were fortunate to be offered an extraordinary challenge by The Bertha Foundation: if we were able to raise R150 000, the foundation would match that amount with an additional R150 000. We did not know if we would be able to reach our goal, but thanks to the great efforts and generosity of our friends from around the world, we were able meet the target and received the generous matching funds from the Bertha Foundation.

Being able to expand the tutoring program with the additional classrooms allows KYP to meet one of the keys to its core mission, to eradicate poverty of the mind, body and soul. We are so proud of our dedicated tutors and learners, and are grateful to everyone who makes it possible for them to meet together every day. The more we are able to help educate and build skills in each of our members, the better we can prepare them for good jobs and the mindset that will allow them to improve their lives, those of their families, and of our community as a whole.

We wish to thank The Bertha Foundation, AVI, Ripples of Hope, and Still Chasing Rainbows, each of whom jumped to make sure we had the funds to build classrooms and furnish them. And, of course, we send our gratitude to everyone who contributed toward making this major initiative possible. All of your contributions are deeply appreciated.

Matriculants Success Event

Every year our tutoring team put their efforts in making sure that our matriculants are prepared for the hard work expected from them at their respective schools. The students never disappoint us, and by the end of their school year, they all achieve good results. We appreciated the class of 2011's success with a 'matriculant's success' event for them on the 11th of February at the Soweto hotel here in Kliptown.

All of this year's matriculants, their parents, and the teachers who have been helping them throughout the previous year were invited. All of next year's matriculants were welcomed as well, so that they could be inspired to do their best in grade 12 just as this year's class did. Each matriculant was given a certificate from all of us at the organisation congratulating them on reaching this milestone, and those who had received the highest marks received special gifts.

We don't want to forget our middle school students, who also did well this year. They were also recognized for their hard work and dedication to school.

All of the students who attended were inspired and motivated by this event. We are so proud of our matriculants for their achievements and all our members for their hard work during the 2011 school year.

Uniform Presentation Ceremony

On Saturday, the 4th of February, we hosted our annual uniform presentation ceremony, whereby we hand out the school uniforms that our members will wear to their respective schools for the coming year. A total number of 282 members received full schools uniforms at the event. To be able to provide the resources that allow our children to attend school helps us meet our first priority as an organisation: education.

We invited all of the parents of our members to come and share this day with us. We also welcomed principals and teachers from the different schools which our members attend as well as friends of KYP. In addition, we were honoured to receive the councilor of Kliptown. Of course, every member was at the KYP centre, excited to receive their uniforms. It was a hot day and the weather was good, and everyone enjoyed the food we served to the attendees. We are so happy to have been able to put a smile on the faces of all our children and parents.

Every year, this initiative is a dream come true for us. The event helps all of us to be proud because it allows the community to see the good we all do for our children when we remove barriers to education for them. We know our children will all wear their school uniforms with pride and love being school child.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to making this day a success.

KYP Loses Beloved Leader Xolani Dube

On Thursday, the 5th of April, 2012, we learned the devastating news that one of our leaders, Xolani Dube, had died in an accident. Xolani was the leader of our food program, and he was also involved in giving tours for the tourists who visited our centre. Whether he was out and about running errands for KYP, busy in the kitchen, or spending time with visitors, Xolani worked hard every day and his warm smile was appreciated by every visitor, all of his co-workers, the members of KYP, and the entire community of Kliptown. 

In March, 2010, Xolani shared the dream that his goal for KYP was to make sure that students had food in the morning before they headed for school. We are so pleased that his dream came true and that each of our students are now able to receive two meals per day. Xolani is a younger brother to our Director, Thulani Madondo. He left behind his son and daughter, his family, and his extended family of KYP's members and fellow leaders.

On Friday the 13 of April he was put to rest. We will all miss his presence, his smile, and the positive energy he brought with him every day. No one will ever be able to fill the place he leaves behind at KYP, but we can still pursue his dreams. May his soul rest in peace. With lots of love and great respect.

Gumboots Dancers Tour China in 2011 

We were very fortunate to visit China once again in 2011 on a tour to share our gumboots dancing, raise funds for our school uniforms, and to connect our respective communities. It was the second time members of our organisaion have had the chance to visit the country. Each of the 11 members who travelled, Sihle Magadla, Magcina Mazala, Nelisiwe Walaza, Thulani Madondo, Lucky Kubheka, Monwabisi Baleni, Thulisiwe Simango, Kabelo Baloyi, Kenneth Ndandane and Xolani Tafeni, were chosen for their hard work, commitment, and participative spirit at KYP, and were very excited to be representing us.

On the 4th of November everyone was ready, filled with excitement because they all knew that the tour would benefit us as an organisation. For most of our members, it was their first opportunity to travel on a plane, to go see different people from different places, and to learn about other people's history.

The tour took us to Shanghai and Beijing, where our members performed at 11 international schools. One of the greatest moments of all was performing at the great wall of China. However, even though that moment was extraordinarily fulfilling, we enjoyed every minute of the tour.

The person behind the entire initiative is
our South African sister, Shelley Bragg, who came to KYP as a visitor. None of us knew it was going to be the beginning of such a long, warm relationship, but she saw our potential and came up with the idea of KYP performing and teaching gumboots dancing in China. We are so thankful to her for everything. 

The tour brought the spirit of positivity to all our members, has given members the opportunity to travel for the first time, and most importantly, helped make the whole community proud of our organisation.

Sakina's Success Story

Sakina is a member of our organization who is 10 years of age and who has a disability: she is deaf. Before Sakina started attending our program, she had never attended school in her life. At KYP we believe every child needs education, so as soon as Sakina joined our program, we saw a need of finding a school for her that was suitable for her disability. 

We are very happy to inform everyone that Sakina is now attending school at Sizwile School for the deaf. She began early this year, and she enjoys learning every day. She is now discovering how to communicate in sign language, and we are so proud of her. 

Sakina made a very good choice by joining a youth organisation like KYP where needs like education for a child are always supported, and we are proud that each and every member of our organization is exposed to education. 

XO Laptop Development

Our OLPC Team are still finding ways to make our community green and filled with XO laptops. In one of their efforts to bridge the gap of technology, they have been going to Lilydale Primary School, the local school where the greatest number of our members attend.

Thanks to our XO team, the children are enjoying learning how to use the laptop. The students are now able to present the icons of the laptop and e-mail their exchange pen-pals from the Saint Marks School in San-Franscisco.

All of our new members at KYP are also taught how to use the XO laptops and are loving the experience. We appreciate the efforts each of our new members puts into this project by coming to the XO classes and learning about the computers. We congratulate them on the good progress they have made thus far.

Sports and Perfoming arts


One of our soccer players, Lebohang 'Bobo' Sithole, was recently chosen to play for a team called FC Barcel in Limpopo, and we wish him all the best. We are so proud that he is now playing at a different level of soccer because it shows that we have outstanding players on our team who can take advantage of such good opportunities.

Our open team won this year's Easter Tournament, which they have been participating in for the past 4 years. They had never won, and this year was their chance to take the top place. We appreciate the hard work of both the players and their coaches. 

All of KYP's soccer teams have been doing very well in the past few months. During that time, they have won 3 tournaments. We are also proud to have added 2 additional teams for a total of 5 soccer teams competing on behalf of KYP. 


Our Netball team has been also participating in different matches to improve their skills and they have been doing a great job. An under 13 netball team has been added for those young members who love playing netball, and we now have 3 netball teams.


Six of our gumboots dancers, Collen Tshazi, Sipho Dladla, Terrence Shikwambane, Siphamandla Bogwana, Tshepo Tabohane, and Tshepiso Khuzwayo, were given the opportunity to go to Reunion Island to perform gumboots dance in connection with a company called Kozmantidalo. They traveled to different parts of the island performing gumboots dance together with
different artists. 

Our entire gumboots team was invited to be part of the international "Flyover Show" which was held in Kliptown this year. We were very fortunate to be part of such an extraordinary event. 

Along with some of the greatest and most well known South African artists and dancers, our gumboots dancers were also invited to perform at one of the biggest beat battles for Redbull. This event gave us great exposure. 

Finally, China here we come again! For the third year, we will be taking 15 of our members on a tour of China. We are grateful for yet another opportunity to give some of our members the chance to travel internationally for the first time. 

More Success Stories

Nelisiwe Walaza has joined KYP's leadership team after completing her studies in Marketing Management. She now serves as KYP's Assistant Marketing manager and a grade 7 tutor. Nelly applied for and was accepted to this year's ILIVE2LEAD international youth leadership Summit in Nantong China. The summit focuses on helping youth who wish to become strong, effective leaders for the future. We are so proud of her for such an achievement. 

One of our tertiary students, Zandile Gamede, received a bursary to cover all of her educational expenses, including transport, food, accommodation for her next year at university. 

Mpho Mafate was one of our 2010 grade 12 students who did not succeed in passing her matric in the first round, but that did not break her spirit. She went back to school with the help of our tutoring program, and we are proud to report that she passed and had now received her matric certificate. 

After 4 years without proper toilets at the centre for either members or visitors, Cadbury Chocolatiers donated funds to allow us to build us new toilets. Our members are now very happy to be using them.

In May we were fortunate to be visited by the Penn International Business Volunteers team from the University of Pennsylvania. The UPenn student consultants spent three weeks at KYP helping us improve our financial systems and marketing efforts in order to become a more sustainable organization. In addition, we were very happy to receive students from Fordham University for painting our center. We greatly appreciate the help and time of all our volunteers.

... And Happy 5 Years to KYP!

On the 27th of May, KYP marked its 5 year anniversary in changing the lives of Kliptown's children. We are so happy that over our five years, we have had such a positive impact in the community of Kliptown. Our community looks to our organisation as inspiration, and every child in Kliptown wants to be part of KYP. We are grateful that everyone, whether they are from Kliptown or just visiting, understands the change we want to make in our community. Most important, we are so glad that the children are seeing the positive initiatives we are trying to implement and getting inspiration for their own dreams. 

What better way to end this newsletter than wishing ourselves more great years to come! Thank you so much to everyone who has helped make us a success! 


Thank You to Everyone Who Helps Fund Our Program!

KYP could never do the work it does every day for the children of Kliptown if it was not for the extraordinary generosity of individuals and families from all over the world. Our deepest gratitude and thanks to everyone of you who has helped us reach our goals and bring our dreams to reality through your generous donations of funds, goods, and your valuable time to help us in our work!

Also, our special thanks goes to the many organizations, foundations, and companies that have helped in the past year to fund our programs or who have donated materials to help us with our mission: The Bertha Foundation, AVI Limited, The Global Fund for Children, Ripples of Hope, Still Chasing Rainbows, ACSA, KLA, Smart Insurance, CAF America, Deloitte(SA), Edcon, National Lotteries, Cadbury SA, KDR Travel and Tours, Big Six Tour Safaris, Fairheads Benefit Services, Racepoint Group, UTi, Rand Merchant Bank, and Studiosus

We hope to see you soon...

Thank you so much for taking the time to read about all of our efforts here at KYP over the past year. With your support, we are able to make a huge difference in the lives of so many children in Kliptown. Your help gives these wonderful kids opportunities they would never have had otherwise, and we are all grateful to you.

We hope to see you at the center soon!

With warm regards,

Thulani Madondo
Director, Kliptown Youth Program