Kgomotso has spent most of her life feeling isolated and unhappy

From Langaville Tsakane, Kgomotso was unemployed and struggling to take care of her 5 year old son. Then she found out about our programmes and registered for our computer literacy and baking classes.

As soon as she started the baking course, she knew this was for her. She also knew there was a prize of a starter pack of ingredients for the person who came top of the class, and she was determined to win it – and win it she did with a 100% pass!

Kgomotso used the ingredients to begin baking from home, selling fresh vetkoek to her neighbours to earn the money to buy more ingredients. She now owns her own start-up bakery, specialising in bulk orders for school, church groups and funerals. After attending small business development training at Siyabonga Africa, and learning financial, record-keeping, ordering and marketing skills aimed at growing her business, Kgomotso is ready to test a new marketing concept of partnering with funeral parlours to make her offerings part of their funeral plans.

Coming to Siyabong Africa that first day, and completing our skills training course has changed Kgomotso's life. She has hope for the future and, more importantly, feels confident now in her ability to provide a better life for herself and her son.

Change someone's life

It costs R2 500 to put one person through our Baking/Food Preparation Course – and set them on the road to independence.

Now drug free for over a year, Nicole says the best recovery gift is the respect of her children.

Nicole and her husband were both on drugs. She lost her job because of her habit, and their nomadic lifestyle was having a negative effect on their two sons, aged 8 and 10.

The family entered our Street to Feet programme and were offered temporary accommation at Siyabonga Africa on condition that they gave up the drugs. Although they had the best intentions, the reality was very tough and they slipped a few time. Nicole's husband didn't make it and went back to the life, but Nicole wanted to change and knew she needed help.

She is so grateful for the support and love she received at Siyabonga Africa, which she describes as, "my safe haven." She underwent therapy at a rehab centre and gradually rebuilt a life for herself and her two boys, free from drugs – working as a cleaner and helping out in the kitchen here to earn her keep.

Nicole and her husband divorced and she lived with her parents for a while, working in our telesales office to earn some money. Recently, Nicole landed a steady job in the 'outside world' and we are so excited for her! It has been a long journey for her, but she is determined to do what it takes to get her boys back and the future looks bright for this young mom and her sons. Nicole also plans to volunteer as a counsellor for a non-proift organisation, where she hopes her experiences will help other recovering addicts find the will power to break free.

Meet Thabo, the very proud owner of Avalanche Bakery, a Siyabonga Africa project.

Thabo has had the bakery for five years and is doing exceptionally well. Not only has the community supported the bakery with great enthusiasm, Thabo has 'given back' to Siyabonga Africa by giving motivational talks to up and coming bakers attending our courses.

We look forward to seeing what else the future holds for this successful young entrepreneur.

*Name changed to protect identity

Over the past year, Grace* has transformed from a shy lady with little self confidence to a self assured, secure woman who knows where she is going.

A single mother with an 11 year old son with learning disabilities, Grace fled an abusive relationship and joined our Street to Feet programme in the hope of finding a safe place to care for her son and learn new skills that would help her lead an independent life.

During the 12 months she was with us, Grace took part in various activities and courses such as life skills, computer literacy, personal counselling, job readiness and so on. Through our sound public partnerships we were also able to secure funding to assist Grace with much needed dentistry to imporve not only her appearance, but her confidence.

She found work as a cashier and is now a permanent employee. At the end of 2016, Grace moved into her own home with her son, and is looking forward to a life free from poverty, abuse and isolation.

Earn valuable BEE points

It costs approximately R20 000 to put a person through the 6-12 month Street to Feet Programme – and change a life forever.