Attending the training at RLabs has prepared me tremendously for my work journey.Conducting myself in a cheerful manner is essential. Most of the children are from disadvantaged backgrounds and it is important to show compassion towards them.
I am 26 years old, grew up in Heideveld, and was raised by both parents. I am also a single mother of two children and since I became a mother, I also became very interested in children.
Before starting the Yes Program, I had a bit of a setback as I dropped out of varsity due to financial difficulties. Being a mother of two was challenging. I was in a state of confusion and had very little hope for my future, as I thought that maybe my life is set out to stay in the state it used to be.
Through the Yes Program, I am closer to my form of a dream job working with children. I work at Cathkin Community Centre, also known as the Sports and Recreation Hub for Youth and Children in Heideveld. Being there I am a leader that gets to be creative and think creatively. I assisted with the incorporating of youth and children in recreational, cultural and development programs to enhance the capabilities and opportunities concerning the youth in the community. Some of my duties are; being mindful of safety for the children, making sure there is a sense of belonging, and participation in the programs. I get to practice planning, implementing, and co-ordination skills among others.
I used to volunteer at the centre as much as I could and appreciate that I can now get paid for doing what I love and being able to provide financially as a single mother.
Being in a working environment has changed my perspective. Firstly, I became a go-getter. Secondly, I now see that there is so much potential that’s inside of me and it should not go to waste. Thirdly, I quickly override the negativity of my mind with positivity.
My highlight was every Friday’s soccer tournament where young boys from neighbouring communities would come together and compete, bringing energy and vibrancy. Another highlight was the Cathkin Community Centre appearing in the City of Cape Town’s newsletter.
A great achievement for me was implementing the fitness and after school program at the Vanguard community hall. My eagerness to do positive things grew and grew. It only got better as the numbers grew and it enhanced my leadership skills, as I had to oversee the programs. My perspective has changed, I feel empowered and appreciate what RLabs and the Yes Program has done for me.
In the future I see myself running my youth development organization in my community, which is a great need. I want to reach out to as much youth as possible and change the mindset of our mixed-raced communities.
My advice to unemployed youth is to go with what’s inside of your heart because life is a journey and many of us can get lost. Young people should never give up. Everyone goes through a rough patch but when you are in that rough patch, speak life, speak possibilities, seek opportunity, never settle for less, walk with hope and you will succeed.
As I see so many people struggling, I at least can earn a salary every month and knowing I can help the same people that helped me out when I had financial difficulties. I’m extremely grateful to God for this opportunity that the YES Program has given to me. I’m overwhelmed by lots of things. I started reading lots of books to help me as I came out of a very dark background but now all I see is the light. I couldn’t do this without the heavenly father because he is the only one I can depend on.