Success Stories.

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Learn to Live School of Skills


Shenika grew up on the notorious Cape Flats in an area called Q Town. Starting her education in mainstream schools, she managed to coplete primary school grade 7, but could not continue with her high school education as her literacy competency was not up to standard, struggling with reading and writing. Coming from an at-risk background, there was very little support for her to continue and complete her school education. Her mom found the Learn to Live School of Skills, a school that provides basic education and skills training to learners aged 14 to 18 from at-risk backgrounds.

Speaking to Shenika, she shows visible emotion of gratitude toward what the Salesian Institute Youth Projects (SIYP), and the teachers at the Learn to Live School who has done so much for her during the past 4 years.

During 2019, their house burned down in a fire and the family lost everything. The Salesian Institute Youth Projects did all in their power to get them back on their feet by providing some essential items. Taking public transport subsidised by SIYP is a major assistance to Shenika’s family enabling her to attend school. The provision of food parcels during the Covid-19 pandemic, further assists marginalised families, like Shenika’s, easing some of the financial strains they are under.

Shenika is majoring in Hospitality, with her final year in progress. “It’s amazing, I love Hospitality’!” Shenika exclaims. She has already started doing weekend jobs to get a foot in the door. We thank the Radisson Blue in Cape Town for their support by allowing our Hospitality learners some exposure into the hospitality world of work.

Shenika has made lots of friends during the last 4 years at the Learn to Live School, and the teachers has been a pillar of support. We wish her all the best in her future and believe that she will make a success of whatever she puts her mind to – as Shenika is a survivor.

Waves of Change Programme


Babalwa is a 36-year-old woman from Kraaifontein in Cape Town. She went to college to study mechanical engineering but could not secure any employment. She has 2 boys, and to survive and look after her family she took several short-term contracting jobs all over Cape Town filling in for people on maternity leave for instance and where needed. Doing an array of tasks from making beds to administrative office jobs. It barely paid the bills, and she was not enjoying it.

The Waves of Change Programme was mentioned to her by a friend. Working in the maritime industry seemed like a viable option for Babalwa despite it being a male dominated world. At first some of the training was intimidating, but eventually she got over some of her fears, for instance to be submersed under water. “The first time was very scary, but then it was OK,” says Babalwa with a proud smile. I can do what men do, I can work hard, I can hold my ground!”

Babalwa has a dream of earning a steady income soon, being able to buy a house and maybe a car, to be an independent woman. We believe that she will succeed. A determined and brave lady!

Porsche PTRC-ZA Mechatronics Programme


Asive is a 25-year-old woman, who wanted to qualify in the automotive industry, but with no financial means and a year studying motor mechanical engineering at a college, realized that she gained very little practical experience, a requirement for  her to take up employment in the automotive industry. Topped with the fact that females are few and far between in the automotive technical arena, she was desperate to complete a course which would afford her the opportunity to work in the automotive field. She then then applied for the PTRC-ZA programme in 2019.

Living with her aunt in Delf, Cape Town, where employment opportunities are scarce, she was determined to realize her dreams. Some days she found it very difficult, but with the support of her classmates and course facilitators, Asive completed the PTRC programme curriculum and has been placed at a VW dealer during 2021, to gain practical experience before she goes on to do her trade test.

“The Programme has been great for me, and I am very thankful to have been allowed this opportunity through the Salesian Institute Youth Projects to join the PTRC ZA programme. It has helped me see things differently. I gained so much automotive knowledge. The combination of academic as well as v practical knowledge helped to upskill myself and now, I can do things like change automotive components and diagnose issues on a vehicle. Working on luxury vehicles within the Porsche/VW group is an absolute honor.

My plans are to secure permanent employment at the VW dealer I am currently placed at. I want to become a full-fledged qualified technician.

This programme affected my life in a positive way and is giving me direction. As a female in the automotive world, I am proud of where I am at, and where I am going,” says a determined Asive.

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