Helping to build dreams: The Schauenburg Education Trust and Afrika Tikkun

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Helping to build dreams: The Schauenburg Education Trust and Afrika Tikkun

Published on: February 25th, 2022

A Greek proverb states, “A civilisation flourishes when people plant trees under whose shade they will never sit.”

The profound sentiment in this phrase is that planting seeds, engaging in positive actions or establishing meaningful structures can create benefits that are felt far into the future. Undoubtedly, there is an innate selflessness that drives such acts, ones that reap rewards largely for future generations.

In is within this vein that the Schauenburg Educational Trust generously sponsored the Afrika Tikkun Science, Engineering and Technology Centre at the Afrika Tikkun’s Wings of Life Centre in Diepsloot. The building was officially unveiled on 8 February 2022.

The Schauenburg Education Trust has long provided bursaries for young people in the fields of Engineering and Economics. During the organisation’s strategic reflection on how best to make a sustainable impact on the youth in South Africa, infrastructure support was deemed the natural next step. “We want to create something that demonstrates that we have been active in South Africa for decades,” says Florian G. Schauenburg, CEO of Schauenburg International. “While our companies are foreign-owned, many are based in South Africa. This is why we are committed to helping build a healthy country. We believe transformation begins with education. We don’t see this building as an investment so to speak, but an enjoyable activity that we are delighted to be supporting.”

The building will serve as a space for learning and exploration in general and the implementation of Afrika Tikkun’s Career Development and Placement (CDP) Programme in particular. Within this programme is the organisation’s signature Work Readiness course. According to Onyi Nwaneri, CEO for Afrika Tikkun Services, the training and placement arm of Afrika Tikkun, this building is not simply a concrete structure but a vehicle for transformation. “This building is part of the educational fabric of Diepsloot. Our support to young people is not once-off. We bring them into our programmes so that they get active enough to give back to their communities,” says Nwaneri. “Our skills development programmes help increase their access to the South African economy; we strive to sustain that access through our Alumni Programme.”

This notion of providing support throughout a young person’s life cycle is the basis of Afrika Tikkun’s Cradle to Career framework. The impact of this approach is clearly demonstrated by Sibogile Mathebula’s success story. The former CDP participant who was present at the opening of the centre, opted to return to Afrika Tikkun to work as a volunteer after her graduation from the CDP Programme. Mathebula was able to put the training and personal development learned while on the CDP Programme to propel her into her current position of Interim Manager of the CDP Programme.  

The new Afrika Tikkun Science, Engineering and Technology Centre stands as a beacon of hope and is part of a larger emblem of inspiration in the community of Diepsloot. The Afrika Tikkun Wings of Life centre is unmissable amidst the bustle of a busy and densely populated community. As a space that provides respite, creativity and a pathway to excellence, it is of the community, for the community and belonging to community. It will continue, particularly with the addition of the new centre, to help change the lives of hundreds of young people and in turn, hundreds of families in Diepsloot.