YES4YOUTH – Interns tell it like it is – July 2022

Internships for SA youth

Internships with YES 4 Youth are changing young lives. This business-led collaboration with the government addresses youth unemployment, which is at an all time high. Using best practice models and technology platforms YES gives unemployed youth a quality work experience for 12 months, as the first step toward meaningful employment. YES Youth are placed in organisations through YES Implementing Partners supported by corporate sponsors.

These partnerships allow us to expand our programmatic reach while simultaneously providing youth with valuable work experience and support for their personal development.

Sitting with a struggling learner

Nthabeleng Ntsoele (20) tutors at Nelson Mandela Primary School, Sasolburg, Free State and is sponsored by Refinex. She shares her experience: “This internship has been a great experience so far as I love working with children. My colleagues have shown me the ropes and I can talk with them about anything. It helped me to strengthen my communication skills and keeps me intellectually active. I will also have a strong impact on the learners and become a better teacher. I asked teachers to show me learners who are battling a lot. Now I just go to them and sit down beside them and ask them what they are struggling with. After that I show them how to do the work they find difficult. I also do my own examples in class for them to understand even better.”

Ofentse Maake stands beside the brightly coloured JumpStart logoLearning the systems

Ofentse Maake (26) works in systems support and administration for JumpStart Foundation. He has a Diploma in Systems Development, NQF 5, NICT SETA, Pretoria; a Technical Support, NQF4, NICT SETA; and AWS Cloud Practitioner, Praesignis. Orange Cyberdefense sponsors his post. He said: “So far, I’m learning how different systems work, how to log tickets, and see the responses. I’m still being trained on the next stage. It’s never a disadvantage to learn something new! To those who were I was six months ago, I want to say: Never tell yourself you’re at the end of the road and take every opportunity that comes your way. Don’t sit in your comfort zone because you can’t grow there.”

A road to entrepreneurship

Onele Majali (32), from Libode, Eastern Cape, is working as an Admin Clerk to our Eastern Cape programme manager, Nomta Ntola. Onele’s sponsor is Refinex. She has told about her experience: “I have learnt so much this month since joining the programme, particularly developing my technological skills and experience. Now I know how to work with Excel, Google Drive, and Zoom. I’ve also learnt the importance of professionalism, having a good work ethic, and communication. What I’ve gained this month has motivated me to learn more about social media. I’d like to study further and get a permanent job, and possibly be an entrepreneur one day. It’s a dream of mine to teach others in my community about technology and motivate them to improve their chances in a changing world.”

A path to hope

Nomathemba Gladys Nocanda (30) tutors at Theha Setjhaba Primary School, in Sasolburg, Free State. Lightstone sponsors two internships. “Before I started working, I’d lost hope because nothing was going my way. I’d been rejected by universities and couldn’t find jobs. Ever since I got this opportunity I feel like myself again and am so happy. I am more confident and responsible and have started planning my future. And some teachers encourage me. This job has taught me how to work with students who have barriers to learning. It was a challenge at first, but my class teacher, Mam Mbhele, gave me advice. She helped me to be patient, treat them with love and never give up on them. I learnt to treat them like they are like other kids and never side-line them.”

Venture into the new normal

Mxolisi Vanga (27) is a Maths Tutor at Wodehouse S.P.S., Cofimvaba, Eastern Cape. He studied B.Com Accounting at the University of FortHare. KSB sponsors him. He recalls the impact of the project: “Believing in yourself is the most important thing you can do. Celebrate how your hard work and determination have led you to this point. What matters is embracing the future as you venture into a new normal, not what you studied at University. The world is full of opportunities. Always have faith in life. Treat others the way you want to be treated.”

Helping slow learners

Oyama Sifumba (23) tutor at Upper Gqogqora Primary School, Tsomo, Eastern Cape is sponsored by KSB. He’s finding it a big learning experience: “An example of necessary classroom facilities we really need is physical number counters.  Without them, I have to find other ways to help them understand. The biggest challenge I’m facing is helping slower learners who struggle to count from 0 to 50. It’s very hard to stick to the lesson plan schedule without letting some students fall behind. I helped teachers set assessments for learners, do their memorandums and classroom preparation. That meant they could pay more attention to other things. I made group counting games to help the students learn in a fun and stress-free way.”

Stones and sweets!

Pilisiwe Kwatsha (32) tutors at Keti Junior Secondary School, Dutywa, Eastern Cape. She became the breadwinner in her household with this opportunity, sponsored by Lightstone. Getting to Keti Junior as a tutor led to my first time to work with the children, so I was a bit afraid. I hadn’t been trained for this career, but I’m getting used to it and gaining confidence in my abilities to teach a good lesson. I use stones as counters and sweets as rewards because we don’t have teaching aids. Since trying that, the learners have been co-operative! During my free time I help other teachers in their classrooms, offering to do photocopying or cleaning the staff-room while they’re busy.

Partner with us

Can you help us to expand our work? We need corporate South Africa to support internships that change underperforming classrooms in South Africa and we need donors who will help talented youth to bet started on their B.Ed degrees! Donate via Forgood, or email Betty Oliphant to come on board.


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