Thank you Boston, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Louisiana!
What an amazing and most successful 3 weeks tour we had traveling in the US and catching up with our friends and partners who have visited us and love the work we do. We had a great time visiting schools and after-school programs, doing service, talking with students, and connecting with communities, some new to us and some old friends, all of which are now dear to our hearts. It was incredible to perform with our gumboots for so many people, and we know we leave behind a lot of inspired gumboots dancers who we had the chance to teach a few steps to! We would like to take this opportunity and give our deepest gratitude and thanks to everyone who hosted us and was hands on in every initiative we were doing. Boston, New Orleans, Louisiana and San Francisco, we appreciate your welcoming hearts and wonderful hospitality!
Minenhle and Thato make us proud
My name is Minenhle Nxasana. Next year I am going to be a Ruth First Scholarship girl at Jeppe High School. I am so happy that I worked hard to get the scholarship. Ruth First was an extraordinary woman who did tremendous work for women in our history, and now she is honored by her friends and family through scholarship opportunities for girls. Today, I am one of the chosen girls to carry her legacy and I am very excited to be part of this.
When I was told I would be going to Jeppe Girls High school, I was very honored and I wrote a speech about what would I want to see in the world in 100 years. “I imagine South Africa in particular with a female president, because empowering women is already changing the world. So I ask this question to you, 'how do you contribute in changing the world?'"
My name is Thato Kewagile. I am 13 years old and I was born in Kliptown and have been a member of KYP for 4 years. What I really love about the Ruth First Scholarship is that it gives me the opportunity to do different things and learn a lot, to see above the skies and reach out to the stars.
A section of my speech that I enjoyed presenting as a Ruth First scholar is when I said, "South Africa is known to be one of the countries filled with squatter camps or informal settlements, and in 100 years time I would like for the South African government to build better homes for the people." I loved presenting about this because I live and have lived in an informal settlement for all my life and if not me, who can solve this social problem? I have experienced the challenges of it and I will contribute to the solution of it.
Zanele Bezana and Mongezi Mini are stars of the month
Zanele Bezana and Mongezi Mini, both 9 years old and in grade 4, have been consistent top achieving learners in their school grades and at KYP in all their school lives. Their dedication and commitment to their education has been so inspiring not only to the children at KYP but the community at large.
Zanele has represented her school nationally in mathematics competitions and has always come out victorious. Just recently, she was chosen to be on an advert for one of the biggest stationery supply stores in South Africa. She was chosen to be on this advert because of her amazing story and her willingness to achieve regardless of where she comes from.
Mongezi Mini amazes us daily with his will to grab any opportunity given to him by KYP. He knows that working hard and having the best attitude will provide him better chances of getting educational opportunities. He has won numerous achievement awards for his intelligence and hard work, and we are so proud of all he has done at such a young age.
Both these young people will be starting grade 5 at Jeppe Preparatory School in 2019, which is one of the most highly recommended schools over the years. We are so happy for them and hope this encourages other young people to work hard to achieve great things.
Excited for our New Solar
After months of using the noisy and costly generator as our source of power for our centre, we had a big wish of having new solar panels because the ones we have been using for the past 8-10 years have lost its working power. With such a situation we had to go back to using a generator which the petrol to keep it running and fixing it costed us so much money.
Not only did it cost us so much but it was noisy for our classrooms and not easy to work around especially when we have important lessons, workshops and trainings taking place. In cases of a really bad weather, we will have a generator as a back up to keep our operations running.
We would love to take this opportunity and thank our friends in USA and Germany for all the funding put together in making this wish possible for us. We are so happy to have such a wonderful, cost effective and long-term gift.
Aphiwe Sineke joins the team as our Social worker
Aphiwe Sineke was born in Kliptown in an environment where most people are discouraged and underprivileged in many ways. Aphiwe states, “Growing up in communities which are challenged can cause a great deal of harm to their confidence and true identity, but it can also stir resilience within individuals." Not all people in the community are discouraged and not all people are hopeless. Amongst those who remained optimistic through his day to day experiences, Aphiwe remained focused on his dreams.
“Within the community, I found simple people with extraordinary the heart to share a meal, a smile, and a word of wisdom now and then. Like most children of the community, I consider myself as one of those who are not brought up by just one family, but by the community as a whole because of their support and countless kindnesses towards me. Their support and kindness is not based on them having enough resources but rather their willingness and gestures of Ubuntu (humanity). Such values and qualities inspired me to go to the helping profession”
“In this life I have lived until now, I have realized that it is not that people do not have aspirations or are useless if they do not reach the peak level of their potential. Rather, the many stressors under which people live can lead to them normalizing and accepting unbearable situations without the willingness or strength to change. Life has taught me to respect people not for what they have or because of their rank or status, but simply because all people deserve to be respected whether they are conscious of that or they think that way about themselves."
“I have learnt that status means nothing without humility, and surely we are each unique. But no soul is more valuable than any other. Today I am grateful that this very community has raised a Social Worker, and it is an honor to serve at home: Kliptown Youth Program. The establishment of KYP and being part of it from high school (2007) until today has been a great journey. Their special contribution towards my studies until I completed them is one of the greatest things which has happened to me. Today I am employed within the organisation of which I am an alumni, my responsibility being to offer a holistic psychosocial support for KYP members and the community at large through therapeutic intervention on a one-one-one basis, to groups or families, or at the community level. I work to maximize the potential of individuals by reinforcing their strengths; promoting the wellbeing of all members and the community; minimize the cause-effect which places children and adults in the “at-risk” state, with high probabilities of negative future outcomes."
"I am grateful for all the opportunities I have been given to make my dream a reality, and also to serve within the community which I am part of. If I spoke and no-one listened, if I reasoned and was misunderstood or taken for granted, I will remain hopeful that one day I will be remembered that I once sowed a seed of hope in someone’s life"
Meet Thapelo Siasia our Vocational Development Officer
"I joined KYP on its 10th anniversary as a volunteer, fell in love with it instantly, and then decided to join the team on a more permanent basis. My former lecturer at UJ and her close friend, Mrs. Gillian Ilsley, who also happens to be my former clinical supervisor and is a current KYP board member, encouraged me into the wonderful world of KYP. She led us into cleaning and opening up the Psycho-social Center last year, but didn't count on me leaving Educational Psychology after personally connecting me to the organisation. My role includes but is not limited to coordinating all vocational and life transitioning activities of KYP members in linking them to learnerships, bursaries, scholarships and employment opportunities. It is this very role that made me realize I could do so much more with my life and for my community by focusing on bigger and better systems in society, and by exiting academia much earlier than I expected! For a more focused and rewarding journey awaits me as I seek generational emancipation of my people, through service and education."
What are your responsibilities in this role?
"I am working to develop a clearly defined guidelines for the Vocational Development Program, and how to measure successes and failures in all present projects. I have managed to establish the Work-Readiness Program, which runs every second Sunday to the benefit of all our senior members, alumni and interested community members.This program also trains KYP leaders and tutors on how to develop necessary "soft skills" in KYP members and how to enhance their own career prospects whilst they are at it. I am in the process of helping to form and lead a Vocational Advisory Committee, which consists of staff members, external stakeholders and board members. I also manage the KYP Mentorship Program, which involves the holistic and career guidance of all our Grade 11 and 12 members through mentor-mentee matches and quarterly mentorship seminars.
Furthermore, I help secure and maintain new corporate relationships with employers of our alumni and continue to search for bigger and better opportunities for all of them. I am also responsible for making sure the Grade 9 subject-choice assessments are successfully administered, and I help ensure our alumni and Grade 12 learners are able to attend career expos. The idea for the Grade 12 Matric speeches came through this program, and the continuous running of Motivational Wednesdays for all our high scholars is still inspirational with our attending members. All our matriculants have applied to institutions of higher learning for next year or in gap year organisations like City Year South Africa.
We are proud to present our 2017 Annual Report! Inside, you will find our achievements not only for 2017, but also since our inception in 2007. You'll be able to look over our strategic goals for the next 3 years, catch up on events and travels from last year, and take a deep dive into the organization, staff, financials, and other information.