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Apr 28, 2016

Youth March Against Violence

"The children are the future"- this is a statement that just cannot be disputed. It is always so heart-warming and hopeful to see young people standing up for what they believe in, particularly when it comes to fighting for their rights!

The young people of the Nelson Mandela Bay showcased this on the 20th February 2016 as they participated in a "Youth March Against Violence" to voice their concerns about all the violence and crime happening in their communities. Towards the end of 2015, United Through Sport, alongside two other local NGOs, started a vibrant and active youth network to promote, develop and create opportunities for the youth of Nelson Mandela Bay. The Youth 1st Network and its members used this platform to engage with the local municipality about the unsafe communities the youth live in. This was done in the form of a march where a petition was handed over to a representative of the Mayor. To motivate the youth, a speaker addressed the children about the importance of staying in school and avoiding criminal activities. The speaker was an ex-convict himself, who has since turned into a business man.

On that Saturday morning, over 500 youth marched in the streets of the CBD, hoping their voices will be heard. The petition signed requested more visible policing, less tolerance of illegal behaviour, the erection of fully functional CCTV/cameras to cover the streets and public spaces (which will minimise the need for human witnesses), more protection for eye witnesses of crime, a serious crack-down on gang leaders, more community cooperation in bringing criminals to justice and a concentrated effort to reduce illegal gun possession, ownership and smuggling.

Leading up to the event, the Junior School of Excellence beneficiaries at United Through Sport spent their life skills and mentoring sessions discussing violence; the causes, results, impact on society as well as prevention options. The children are affected by crime on a daily basis in their communities, and sadly so even in their own homes. The key solution that the beneficiaries came up with to minimizing this issue was education. The children see education and employment as key factors to putting a stop to the crime in their communities. Being involved in the march and signing the petition made them feel empowered that they can be the change they want to see in their communities.

"Holding my poster up, walking with the group gave me the spirit that through my actions I can make a positive change in the world"- Anifa, 12 yrs old, United Through Sport Beneficiary

Jan 29, 2016

Our Kids Achieve 100% Pass Rate

Cody
Cody

The year 2016 sparks off an immediate celebratory atmosphere amongst the United Through Sport family in South Africa, as we commemorate another successive 100% matriculation pass rate from all of our Senior School of Excellence (SSE) graduates. In spite of the national matric pass rate dropping from 76% in 2014 to 71% for the class of 2015, with a further overall bachelor’s pass rate of only 18% for all schools in the Eastern Cape, our kids managed to score 100% in both areas.

Each of our matriculates achieved merit passes with clear, strategic plans for their futures. Furthermore, our post-matriculates are aided by tips and tools accessible via various online platforms, alongside our continued support to help them continue on their pathway to success. Some examples of our scholars and their plans for their immediate future are:

Cody comes from an area renowned for drugs, crime and gangsterism, but he has overcome the odds stacked against him by sheer determination and a dedicated work ethic on both the sports field and in the classroom. His distinctive Grade 12 pass results have furthered his prospects of an aspired academic qualification in Sports Management or Sport Psychology at either the University of Cape Town or University of Johannesburg respectively. Cody is assured of a promising future with the reversal of the odds now stacked suitably in his favour. We are elated at being a part of Cody’s journey.

As in most instances with our SSE scholarship beneficiaries, there are some restraining circumstances around the guarantee of all our children’s academic success. Ayabulela is no exception and struggles through his mom’s absence from his home, simply because of her work commitments in the Transkei. Yet, Aya has transcended these challenges superbly well and now seeks to pursue Tertiary Education. Equally, we are delighted at Aya’s chosen option of Business Management Studies at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU).

Lorenda is well known to our team for her reserved, soft-hearted nature and passion for helping others, particularly those from disadvantaged environments. Hence, she has chosen a career pathway of nursing, which is apparent to all who know her, as the ideally suited choice for her life’s work. Subsequently though, we have the immediate privilege of having her continue as staff at United Through Sport for her gap year of 2016, thereafter she would begin her formal training in nursing.

Lorenda has gifted us with such heart-filled encounters of caring and sharing. It’s always rewarding when one of our scholars, whom having been given a chance, now chooses to give back by affording others the same opportunity for significant success.

A life transforming relocation to Jeppe Boys High in Johannesburg has proved most fruitful for our fourth 2015 graduate. Zolisa is a prime example of the significant impact we strive to make in the lives of all of our children. He has truly personified our endeavours of uniting through sport.  He will now be progressing on to NMMU to study Marketing.

“We would like to bid all of our post-matriculates well with their projected plans and ambitions. When your heart is in it, anything is possible. Godspeed!” – Russel Aspeling (SSE Manager)

Lorenda
Lorenda
Scholarship Beneficiaries
Scholarship Beneficiaries
Ayabulela
Ayabulela
Nov 2, 2015

Rugby in England 2015

The boys with their host buddies
The boys with their host buddies

 

Ten boys in our Junior School of Excellence programme are still thanking their lucky stars after an amazing trip to the UK at the beginning of October 2015.

The ten U13 boys received the opportunity to go on a Sport and Cultural Tour to the UK to take part in a Festival of Rugby organized by our charity partner Touraid. This incredible tour had the boys travelling out of their country and being in a plane for the very first time in their lives. To put the cherry on top, this trip was alongside the Rugby World Cup 2015 in England.

The United Through Sport boys were hosted by the Ripley Court School and played against 9 other teams from around the world. The actual Festival of Rugby was over two days, and the boys spent more time doing sightseeing around London and various cultural activities with their host school buddies. In the tournament, the boys performed extremely well, winning 8 of the 9 matches they played, positioning them 2nd at the end of the Festival.

Visiting the Twickenham Stadium, watching The Lion King and watching the Italian rugby team train are some of the highlights from the trip. As young rugby players who have big dreams to represent their country professionally one day, meeting rugby legend Chester Williams was definitely an honour and a huge inspiration for all the boys.

Children in our programmes come from difficult backgrounds and such opportunities drive and inspire them to work even harder to make a success of their lives. Opening the world up to them means they not only get to experience different cultures, but also get to share and take pride in their own culture. It is through organizations that have a common goal as United Through Sport that we are able to offer such opportunities this to our youth.  Touraid does amazing work tackling child poverty and we are forever grateful for the relationship we have with them.

 “My time in England was amazing. Everyday I think about my host family and all the new friends I made at Ripley. I cannot believe I travelled to England, I hope to go back when I finish school.” – Onele, 13 years old, United Through Sport Beneficiary 

Selfie Time at Ripley Court School
Selfie Time at Ripley Court School
Three of our boys made the Global Warriors Team
Three of our boys made the Global Warriors Team
Time for The Lion King !
Time for The Lion King !
Game Time
Game Time
Meeting Chester Williams
Meeting Chester Williams
 
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