Simphiwe, one of our former preschool students, is now in grade five and is the head of her class both academically and as a leader. I’ve seen her wonderful creative art skills.
Thato, was orphaned and came to our preschool under the care of her grandmother. Now in grade five, her teachers tell us she grabs concepts quickly, and won awards for English and Math last year. The teachers at her school tell us they wish all their students could pass through Zonke Izizwe Preschool.
Mahlako, a remarkable girl who is now in grade eight, has been at the top of her class since grade one. Her mom often stops by the preschool to share Mahlako’s latest achievements.
Idah and Zodwa, my daughters, were orphaned at ages twelve and six. We helped them build a house and provided food for them over the past decade. Idah is now in her third year at college studying to be a teacher. Zodwa is completing her final year of high school and has ambitions of becoming a conservationist.
Michelle, who was orphaned very young, was given the opportunity to attend a year of office administration courses. She is now our operations manager at the preschool and a spiritual leader among the staff.
Nelly and her sister Sammy were orphaned at the ages of ten and three, and we assisted with food and shelter for over a decade. Nelly accepted the opportunity to study office administration after high school and is now working full time in a private school. She is also a leader in her church.
Judith, a student in our youth mentoring program, is now in her second year at university and has always come back to volunteer at our preschool. She is studying international business and wants to do something to give back to her community.
Isaiah or Shimza, was part of our youth mentoring program. He would come to my house to help me pull weeds and chat. He always told me he wanted to be a CPA. Now, he is getting academic awards at his university and is a year away from achieving his dreams. He is a strong leader with a love for God.
Lebohang, also a student in our youth mentoring program, has been doing maintenance for us at the preschool since he graduated from high school. He is a very hard worker who has always been willing to help at the preschool. I can count on him when something needs attention.
Mantwa, a student of Victoria and a volunteer at the preschool, has wanted to study at university since she graduated from high school. She is now starting online courses to be a teacher.
Paddington, orphaned at a young age, grew up with his brothers and sisters. He was part of our youth mentoring program and frequently helped me with jobs around the preschool. He finished high school and started coaching our soccer boys. After losing his shack in a fire, we helped him to build another shelter, and is now working full time at our local gas station.