Celebrating Youth Month: Stories of Hope and Victory
They say, what the young lack in experience they make up for in courage and vision.
Calvin: Bully Turned Motivator
South Africa’s most powerful story to the world is the story of our transformation – recognising where there was wrongdoing and finding the strength to choose to turn it around. Calvin’s story is one like that. We should always celebrate the Calvins. We must never stop telling these stories of hope.
Calvin Kamphinda, a young man of 15 years old, started attending Uthando centre in 2016. Coming from the inner-city of Johannesburg and raised in difficult circumstances, he adopted the violent behaviour he saw around him. He became a bully not only to his peers and classmates but to his teacher as well. One day in class, when his teacher made a xenophobic statement he threatened her with a knife.
After that incident he was expelled from the school. He started attending another school, but his act of violence followed him wherever he went. His peers were afraid of him, and he was isolated at home, and at school. Calvin felt like he was approaching a mental breakdown, feeling lonely and disappointed in himself. During that period his parents gave him one piece of advice in the form of a question, “is this the kind of life you want for yourself?”
It stuck with him. He made a decision to always do right, and that began his journey to being a better version of himself. What helped him in his resolve was coming to Afrika Tikkun’s Uthando Center every day. “In my environment it’s not always easy to do the right thing – especially because of the way some people treat you.” These days Calvin has found a sense of purpose and value in encouraging his peers. He spends his afternoons giving motivational talks to younger learners, and guiding them like a big brother.
They say when you are living just to survive, you stop dreaming, and when you stop dreaming, you stop planning for the future. The Child and Youth Development Programme has helped thousands of young people realise their potential by enabling them to have access to the economy.
Visit Uthando Centre and see for yourself
Visit our Centre in Braamfontein for a tour and a motivation from Calvin. To arrange contact email@example.com