Read some of our beneficiary success stories below:
Waves of Change Programme
Vincent is a young man who had a tough childhood growing up in Kwa Zulu Natal. He lost his parents at an early age and lived with his aunt in Newcastle. Vincent did not have the opportunity to complete his formal school years and had to try and work to contribute to the family expenses.
Vincent thought that perhaps if he left Kwa Zulu Natal and came down to Cape Town, he might find better employment opportunities. Sadly, that was not the case. Vincent had no place to stay, he could not find a job and ended up on the streets. He finally got a temporary job holding up promotional boards for a local business on street corners. This was not what Vincent dreamt off for himself, out of desperation he went to the Cape Town Harbour trying to find a job off-loading fishing vessels.
It is at the harbour where he heard about the Waves of Change Programme that helps young men and woman to get the training and paperwork needed to work in the maritime industry. He made his way to the Salesian Institute Youth Projects and met with Abraham Lottering the programme facilitator.
“I will never look back, and I am so thankfully I came to the Salesians as it changed my life forever” said Vincent. The Salesians assisted Vincent to get to a place of safety where he could sleep at night and attend the course during the day. Vincent completed the Life Skills training in February 2019. He was further assisted to complete the required training through our maritime partners at a reduced cost, obtain his Seamans Book and be placed in secure employment.
Vincent now has a permanent contract with a well-known fishing company. He goes out to sea for periods of time and comes back to Cape Town where he comes and visits his friends at the Salesians.
Vincent proudly shows us his payslip and says visibly emotional how great it is to earn a salary and be able to send money home to his family and his children. He is committed to assist his cousin to complete his schooling and to stand upright in his community helping others where he can.
“God bought this opportunity to me; I have to take it and never give up. I know what it is like to be down and destitute, God willing it will never happen again. Thank you, Salesian Institute Youth Projects and the Waves of Change Programme.”
Learn to Live Programme
Cassidy is a very talented young man from Mitchells Plain. Until joining the Learn to Live School of Skills, Cassidy did not have the means to complete his schooling, let alone fulfilling his dream to become a hairdresser. He was a final year-4 learner at the Learn to Live School of Skills in 2019. Cassidy showed real talent in the hairdressing vocational skills training workshop and was one of 6 hairdressing learners that was successfully placed at salons as part of Salesian Institute Youth Projects’ mission to assist youth at risk to become active citizens. A well-known salon in Cape Town has offered Cassidy a full-time position, whilst other newly appointed candidates had to start interns, before they could over time move into more responsible and permanent roles.
Cassidy’s talent was immediately recognized and rewarded. His career in the hairdressing industry is off to a very good start, an opportunity that may not have been possible, had it not been for the Learn to Live School’s vocational skills training, the mentorship and employment facilitation with a well-known hair salon at the Waterfront in Cape Town. His siblings see him as a role model, and it creates hope for themselves to create better futures. “Obstacles are in your mind and you can do anything you want if the opportunities are presented”, said a confident Cassidy at the end of his school year.
Cassidy’s immediate family are very proud of him and his bright future ahead of him.
Porsche Mechatronics Programme
Fakir Petersen is a car enthusiast from Ottery in Cape Town, who joined the Porsche Mechatronics Technician Programme at the Salesian Institute youth Projects (SIYP) during the first intake in 2017.
This exciting project was launched in 2017 with the first pilot class of twenty-one male and seven female students beginning their two-year course in July.
Fakir never dreamt that he would be able to pursue a career in the automotive industry. He found out about the course through his school Groenvlei High. “This was such a good opportunity to be trained, and to have a possible opportunity to work with premium vehicles and top-class trainers. My mother was so proud and my family very excited,” says Fakir. “This was an experience of a lifetime and on top of it I made lifelong friends.
“The facilitators were always there for us. Showing us the way and motivated us to go beyond wat is expected from us. My communications skills have improved and with my newly acquired technical skills I now help people in our community if they experience car troubles. I really loved the high voltage training; it is so relevant today and gives us an advantage in the automotive industry. I want to get my formal qualification as a technician one day. I aspire to progress my career and become a master technician, maybe move onto service advisor and service manager perhaps. I have learnt that dreams can become reality if you persist.
We asked Fakir what his advice to the new intake students would be and he answered without hesitation: “The key to success is to focus on goals and not obstacles. Never forget that you learn more from failure than from success. Speak your goals into existence.
I will always be thankful to the Porsche Group and the Salesian Institute Youth Projects for this experience and this amazing opportunity”
Fakir has started his employment with Audi Centre Cape Town. We will follow his progress and wish him all the best.