Celebrating Youth Month: Mandla Wins against All Odds
From an early age Mandla had to become a father to his siblings, all the while nursing a broken heart as he watched alcoholism destroy his mother.
Mandla (19) was registered as a Grade 12 learner at Afrika Tikkun Wings of Life Centre in Diepsloot. He said it was because he wanted to improve his marks because he had already repeated some of his grades. But failing his grades was not the only problem Mandla was facing. His mother’s income from renting 12 rooms and social grants was being spent on alcohol almost exclusively. He and his four siblings (one of whom was an epileptic baby) were starving, unclothed and some had even stopped going to school because fees were not being paid.
Mandla heard about the family support services offered at the Centre and approached the social worker for assistance. The social worker wrote a letter to SASSA requesting that Mandla be made the beneficiary of the social grants and the request was successful. Mandla now receives the social grants for his siblings, and is able to get them what they need. The social worker also negotiated that a portion of Mandla’s mother’ rental income is paid directly to Mandla and further enlisted the support of the community to hold the mother accountable to ensure that Mandla is allowed to use the income he now receives to support and provide for his siblings.
“I didn’t know about the help I could get from Afrika Tikkun. I really had lost hope for my life until I came to the centre,” said Mandla. His grades improved and at the end of his matric year, he passed well. The social worker supported Mandla to apply to a Technikon in Pretoria where he is currently studying Transport and Logistics.
They say when you are living just to survive, you stop dreaming, and when you stop dreaming, you stop planning for the future. The Career Development Programme has helped thousands of young people realise their potential by enabling them to have access to the economy.
Visit Wings of Life and see for yourself
Visit our Centre in Diepsloot for a tour. To arrange contact email@example.com