Net Buddy Enjoying Her Video Mentor
For South African teens, there’s nothing new about needing to dig deep to stay motivated and focused at school, which is why Infinite Family has always emphasized helping them build resilience. Yet, in the 17 years since our program began, they’ve never needed to dig deeper … and we’ve never been more proud of them!
In their video conversations (VCs), our Net Buddies have likely added the word ‘loadshedding’ to their Video Mentors’ vocabulary. This is the term used to describe the rolling power cuts - up to 12 hours a day - that have become a part of their daily life. Their ability to cope with all the extra challenges it poses is impressive. We can honestly say that it’s been an inspiring lesson for us to watch our teens (who are already overloaded with the kind of toxic stress that would sink most adults) find the mental strength to push through. Among the reasons for it?
The Video Mentors you make sure are there every week to motivate them!
It has always been our guiding belief that having a stable, committed relationship with a supportive adult is key to helping children to overcome adversity and learn to manage stress. And it is why Video Mentors are central to the Infinite Family program, as this beautiful message from Jagi in India illustrates:
"I am very excited to share with you the journey of Nthabi. More than a year ago she came as a Net Buddy to me. She was very depressed, lives in a shelter and seems to have no family. I worked with her for quite a while, giving her hope and guiding her to be positive.
Yesterday she turned a corner and is doing well at school in her 12th Grade. She is getting good grades and will start training in September to be an air hostess. She is a very smart girl and I am willing to help her achieve this if she needs any financial assistance. I felt so happy yesterday. She was full of life and cheerful."
YOU allow young people to share their life experiences in a safe space and engage in weekly conversations, like Ntabi’s with Jagi, which influences them to move beyond their natural feelings of helplessness and work through solutions for themselves. Your gift of the relationships between Video Mentors’ and their Net Buddies has always been a gift, but in these dark and difficult times, it’s more appreciated than ever!
Note: Photos and quotes are all real Infinite Family Net Buddies. For their safety, we change the names and images to protect the identities of minor-aged teens.