Mbali Moloisi, 23, from Pretoria East is a young lady with a big vision. She matriculated from Midstream College in 2016 with the hope of entering the film industry. She chose to do a BA in Motion Picture at AFDA and on graduation, discovered that COVID-19 had decimated the local film industry and no ready employment opportunities existed for new graduates. However, her practical nature took over and she was excited when her application to work at JumpStart as an admin assistant was successful.
An integral part of the team
Mbali helps in the office with the logistics of booking flights for the team’s travel arrangements. A new phase launching in 2022 will see JumpStart expanding into Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape. This involved finding quotes for accommodation, booking cars, helping the human resources needs by sorting out CVs and creating lists of eligible candidates – all skills that might serve her in good stead if she ever becomes a production assistant on a movie shoot!
Mbali spoke about the work and how it affected her: “I didn’t know what was happening in the Eastern Cape, some schools are in dire conditions, and seeing that was a “Whoah!” moment. It reminded me of my privilege. I’m happy to be able to help in this project. Talking to the candidates, I know that people need this opportunity to work. For each one who secures a position of educational assistant, this will help a lot of families. I’m very glad to be involved in a project that helps young children learn maths in primary school. I can hardly imagine going to a school without plentiful resources. “
Promoting youth employment
Jo’ Schwenke, the 12 year MD of Business Partners, a company that finances small and medium enterprises, is now retired. In his personal capacity, he chose to sponsor one youth employment opportunity at JumpStart for 2021. He was delighted to learn how Mbali spoke about her learning on the job.
“As I was planning the logistics of our team’s visit to the Eastern Cape, I typed in the names of these places and saw from my research the impoverished nature of these remote rural places. When I called to speak to candidates I heard some heart-rending stories. She said she’s looking for a job and wants to go back home because she can’t find work. My heart broke, listening to her. She needs to feed her family, and have a focus in her own life. The tone of her voice really moved me. These are extreme circumstances people find themselves in – not by choice.”
What it means to have this job
“Sometimes you feel the universe puts you where you’re supposed to be. This is where I needed to be right now in my life. It was easy to let it happen, to allow it, to fully embrace it. The team is amazing. Everyone is so kind! Working at JumpStart has been an eye-opening journey.”
“I hope that one day to carry out this sort of thing in my own capacity and help disadvantaged and rural communities where I can. Working on this project has been a fabulous opportunity to learn how to give back in my own capacity. This is exactly where I need to be right now. I would love to make videos featuring the work done by my colleagues in the classrooms, who are helping children learn to love maths.”
When she’s not finessing the travel plans of the team travelling to remote villages in the Eastern Cape, she’s imagining the movies she’ll make to show the world the work being done in the region. When she’s not doing that, she’s strolling through craft markets and art exhibitions. “I enjoy interacting with the arts, so I don’t waste an opportunity to soak up inspiration for my next project,” she said.
A challenge from Jo’ Schwenke
“When I heard of JumpStart I thought it was a great concept! Employment is being provided to the young adults who are the interns and teaching assistants. The programme gives mathematics support to young learners at the stage where an understanding – and hopefully love -of numbers is crucial. I was excited at how this addresses the present and future needs of our country,” said Jo’.
“I am making a tiny contribution to solving our present youth unemployment situation. Supporting an intern helps ensure our learners are better prepared for further study and employment by having competent mathematical skills. I visited a school in Sasolburg and was impressed by the enthusiasm and competence of the JumpStart team. I’m challenging to all executives (and retirees who can afford it) to sponsor an intern. It’s vitally important that our South African youth are mathematically competent AND that they love numbers as much as I do!”
To take Jo’ up on his challenge, make contact with Betty Oliphant and find out how you can partner with us to sponsor an intern.