The JumpStart team in Sasolburg is a vibrant group who were delighted to incorporate nine new tutors in September this year thanks to YES4Youth. That takes the team of tutors to 24. This business-led collaboration with the government aims at addressing the pressing need for youth employment.
Meet three of our tutors who are enjoying a quality work experience for a year as the first step toward meaningful employment. They benefit from the best practice training models and innovative technology platforms that help place suitable YES Youth with implementing partners — organisations like JumpStart. Support of corporate sponsors, like Lightstone, makes all the difference! This partnership allows Jumpstart to expand its reach while simultaneously providing youth with valuable work experience and support for their personal development.
Julia Mokateng (26) is a tutor at Malakabeng Primary School. She learned about the programme through a friend helping her search for a job. Julia’s mother was overcome with joy on hearing of her acceptance. Julia said, “I feel privileged to have this opportunity. I’m practising adaptability and excellent communication skills, which will help in my career and education opportunities.” Since entering the classroom she learned a lot about teaching and technology. She also figured out that the best way to get learners to understand their work is through patience and empathy. Building trust is the first step toward a great student-teacher relationship. This quote from Winston Churchill summarises what Julia wants to say to other youth who are stuck where she was before joining JumpStart: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal, but it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Noxolo Mthombo (29) is a youth tutor at Isaac Mhlambi Primary school. She first discovered the JumpStart programme via a colleague at Cedar High School. She jumped at the chance to participate in the programme that helps foundation phase learners improve their maths. As a mother herself, this journey has been exciting and transformative. “Going to work every day builds my self-confidence, and though the learners challenge me, I’m growing into my role. Being around numbers all day in the classroom helps with my mental arithmetic too,” said Noxolo. “I’ll be ready for the day that my own little one starts school. I’m eager for that!”
Noxolo is growing skills and building a better future for herself and her children. She enjoys a supportive community of family and friends. She frequently reminds the learners about social distancing, wearing masks, and using sanitiser. She’s also been learning how to manage the classroom and help the learners. “Other youth must believe in themselves, and to keep working toward a brighter future,” she says. “Don’t let anything keep us from achieving our dreams!”
Matshepo Tsehlana (21) is based at Nelson Mandela Primary School. This was her first work experience with a large group of children. It was also one of the most empowering and amazing experiences of her 21 years. She developed patience so as to help those children who take longer to understand their work, and learned the importance of a child’s educational foundation. This is an insight she loves to share with other tutors, encouraging them to weave learning into their daily lives. Everyday objects like beans and bottle tops build childrens’ maths skills.
Matshepo grew new skills like communication, time management, and financial management since entering the programme. She learned to teach using stories. Learners thrive, coming out of their shells when included in the storytelling. They are more willing to ask for help when they’re out of their depth. In response to this added care they rush to carry her books after school, eager to chat with her before heading home. Here is Matsepho’s challenge to other youth: “We must open ourselves up to different opportunities. By being willing to learn and accepting constructive criticism, we access growth opportunities!”
Play your part and partner wtih us…
Our best work happens in partnership with organisations committed to reducing youth unemployment. Nhlanhla Mabuza, Head of HR at Lightstone expressed his delight at these tutors’ commitment to and engagement with the education. He was hopeful that these youth now pursuing their careers would go on to do excellent work as teachers. He encourages other companies to join this constructive and creative initiative to uplift South Africa.
Email Betty Oliphant to find out how you can help us make a difference. Or get in touch with YES4Youth to become a business partner. Your contribution to our organisation qualifies you for a Section 18A Tax Exemption Certificate.