YES4YOUTH – Interns tell it like it is – August 2022

Every YES 4 Youth intern comes to JumpStart with the help of a corporate sponsor, a YES Implementing Partner. This is typically a life-changing opportunity — especially for young graduates who find themselves stuck without jobs to go to. YES youth gain real world experience and skills in classrooms or offices that prepares them to launch professional careers. Best practice technology platforms help them grow important skills, like budgeting, professional presentation, how to prepare a CV, and the subtleties of corporate communication. Fundamentally, the modest stipend enables YES participants the opportunity to “put bread on the table”. This restores their human dignity, improves mental health, and gives hope for a future out of poverty and into meaningful work.

It’s easy because we do it with love

Asemahle Sinandile (24) tutors at Gando Full Service School in Cofimvaba, Eastern Cape and is sponsored by KSB. She shares her experience: “I always find ways to make the maths problems easier for the learners, and they seem to enjoy that. They tell me that they love my workbook because they find the work easy. I tell the learners that “it’s not the workbook that is easy. It’s your teachers and tutors who make it easy because we teach it with love.”

They reach out to me, and I’m able to teach them

Sandisile Ncobo (29) works at Mabhentseni Primary, Nkomo in the Eastern Cape. He studied Civil Engineering at King Hintsa TVET College, up to N6, however, he struggled to get in-service training which amounts to 75% of the coursework. KSB sponsors his post. He shares how his first venture into the classroom challenged him: “Trying to explain content to children without having studied it and without teaching experience was tough! The children throw out their hands, reaching out to you, and I’m able to teach them. The other side is that as much as they’re expected to learn from me, I find I’m also learning a lot from them. They’ve given me an amazing experience. That’s been very exciting.

Public speaking experience

Siphebawo Pini (32) is a maths tutor at Gcina in Ncendane, Eastern Cape. He completed a National Diploma in Electrical Engineering with P1 and P2. His sponsor is Lightstone. Here are his thoughts: “I’ve gained a lot of positive experience learning to talk in front of others. At school there are weekly meetings where we are given a chance to talk. That will help when I go for job interviews. Because of this stipend I was able to attend my own graduation. Had it not been for that, I’d never have a photograph of me in at the ceremony.

We work in the junior school, and next year the children are going to high school. Even some of the children in the community come to me and ask for help with maths. Those in high school also need help. They need a lot of information from us who are already finished studying. We are always trying to help the students. They talk about maths being difficult. I encourage them not to follow their friends to Maths Lit. I say, “Don’t be afraid to ask for pure maths. Maths Lit closes doors. No university will take you with Maths Lit.

A soccer player aims high

Siyabonga Vilane (19) is a maths tutor at Kingsway Primary in Honeydew. He leaves home at 5am every day to get to school on time and spends R80 a day on his transport costs. A 2020 matriculant, Siyabonga has applied to study a B. Ed. courses because he loves teaching and believes it will give him a meaningful life. “I know a lot of people want a job like this. There are so many matriculants sitting at home, who are trying to apply for internships. I took this with both hands and decided to dream big and aim high. If I don’t work hard, I know that someone will replace me. Other people look up to me and want to be in my shoes. It’s a lot of pressure, but also very motivating.Lightstone sponsors Siyabonga.

Learning about people and programming

Thandeka Mtsweni (22) is an intern at JumpCO Digital Labs, Northcliff, Johannesburg. She has certification in CompTIA+, AWS Cloud Practitioner, Systems Support MQ Level 5, and Technical Support MQ Level 4. Refinex sponsors her. She recalls going above and beyond on a team project: “Two weeks ago we were working as a team on a project. It was hard because we were five people with different personalities. Some don’t have any programming experience. We had to make it work so that everyone could contribute and nobody would feel left out. I worked after hours, staying up late to finish things so that I could explain and run things through when I got to work the next day.

Doing the work he loves

Tshanduko Malungwana (25) joined the development team at JumpCO Software Labs in June 2022. I have a Diploma in Information Technology (Software Development) from Tshwane University of Technology. I’ve also certified in Liferay DXP 7.2 Front-end Development. He is sponsored by Refinex. He’s finding it a big learning experience: “Being part of YES youth is a great experience. I’m doing the work I really love and interacting with a team that’s in the field. Getting mentored is valuable. My friends and family benefit from this because I share the light of how things are out there. I’ve learned to see things in a new way, very positively. I never thought I’d get to this position so quickly. I thought it was only meant for experienced people.

Never give up. Keep pushing!

Olo Mkolokoto (24) is a software developer at JumpCO Digital. She has a Computer Clerk Certificate and a National Diploma in Network Systems from Boston City Campus. She’s done HTML, and CSS, and is now working on achieving Java Certification. She is sponsored by Orange Cyberdefense. Olo shared a recent experience: “Last week we had to do a presentation. With the courses on YES I now have the courage to be there, to stand with my group members, and I was able to overcome my worst fear of public speaking. I’m very shy and this was quite above and beyond my own expectations.” To those who find themselves in a similar position, Olo encourages them, saying: “Keep learning new things. Don’t limit yourself. To YES4Youth and JumpStart, I am so grateful to be gaining more new skills, and now I can see a future for myself. When I get a permanent job, I’ll carry this benefit forward. Thanks for the opportunity. For youth in a similar position, I want to encourage them to never give up. Keep pushing.”

Can you help us?

These talented young people need work opportunities. We are keen to expand our work. Corporate South Africa and SMEs can support internships that change underperforming classrooms in South Africa. Additionally, 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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