SAYes Youth Mentoring Programmes South Africa

by South African Youth Education for Sustainability
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SAYes Youth Mentoring Programmes South Africa
SAYes Youth Mentoring Programmes South Africa
SAYes Youth Mentoring Programmes South Africa
SAYes Youth Mentoring Programmes South Africa
SAYes Youth Mentoring Programmes South Africa
SAYes Youth Mentoring Programmes South Africa
SAYes Youth Mentoring Programmes South Africa
SAYes Youth Mentoring Programmes South Africa
SAYes Youth Mentoring Programmes South Africa
SAYes Youth Mentoring Programmes South Africa
SAYes Youth Mentoring Programmes South Africa
SAYes Youth Mentoring Programmes South Africa
SAYes Youth Mentoring Programmes South Africa

Dear valued supporters

Here is an update on our programmes, which are running only because of incredible people like you.

June was a busy month for SAYes.

In South Africa, we are delighted to be working with St Michael's Child and Youth Care Centre in Cape Town again. St Michael's was one of our first partner children's homes, so we really are thrilled to have reconnected with them and to be providing mentorship support to the young people who are planning to exit the home now that they are approaching 18.

In the UK, our first mentees have graduated from our pilot programme. We have had some great feedback, some of which is "life-changing". More will graduate in the coming months and we will share our full pilot report with you when they have. We are now looking to expand our support to more young care leavers throughout the UK through our local authority partners and through referrals from our graduating mentees.

Loadshedding (power cuts) continue to make online meetings a challenge in South Africa, but we are happy to report that the majority of our mentors and mentees have found a way to continue to meet on a weekly basis. Where there's a will there's a way!

Our Alumni
 

The most recent 'Making Connection' was hosted by our friends, Isabelle Kirkham and Jack Smith, from the United Kingdom. We heard about the challenges faced by young care leavers in the UK and how they overcome the hurdles they face.
 
Afterwards, we moved into break out rooms to continue our discussion and learn a bit more about each other.

Our Making Connection events are a great way for people to get together and share experiences with others worldwide. 

 
Our events are not exclusively for young care leavers - everyone is welcome join. The meetings run regularly via Zoom - so look out on our Social Media sites for news of our next event.

Annual Report 2021

We are delighted to launch our 2021 Annual Report (link below)
https://issuu.com/sa-yes/docs/sayesannualreport2021_issuu
 

Check out our Blog


We have added more interviews to our new website feature 'Meet our Mentees'.

This time, we hear from Langa and Biscoth. Both of them describe the ways that having a mentor allowed them someone to talk to and someone to listen. Keep checking our website blog each week to read more.


Read more here: https://sayesmentoring.org/meet-our-mentees-new-regular-feature/


As always, if you would like to know more about our work mentoring young people, both in South Africa and the UK, you can email us at volunteer@sayesmentoring.org.

Best wishes,
Michelle Potter 
Executive Director and Co-founder, SAYes

 

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Welcome to our new feature spotlighting our mentors and mentees.

We have been interviewing our mentors or mentees, and finding out about their SAYes journey. We hope you enjoy learning more about them.

What is your name?
Mel

What is/was your role at SAYes? Mentor or Mentee?
Mentor

What year/s were you in the SAYes programme?
From 2020…

How did you hear about SAYes?
I bought one of Gillian Anderson’s t-shirts for charity on Instagram! It wasn’t until afterwards that I realised the proceeds were for SAYes. It was at the beginning of the pandemic and I found myself with lots of spare time on my hands and had actively been looking for something that I could get involved with. SAYes seemed like the perfect opportunity.

What attracted you to SAYes/What made you sign up?
The principles and values of SAYes really resonated with me. I had also experienced something similar in my youth and knew just how beneficial and meaningful it could be. I wanted to pay it forward.

What concerns (if any) did you have when thinking about signing up?
In previous experience I was used to ‘helping’ people directly and solving problems. I knew mentoring was not like this and wondered if I would be able to switch my mindset. 

What were you hoping to get out of the SAYes programme?
I wanted to learn more about the mentoring role in general and to expand my knowledge. To show up and hopefully make a difference.

Tell us about the challenges you faced in the SAYes programme.
Data and wifi problems have been the biggest challenge so far. You have to get creative!

Tell us about the positives of the programme.
You get to meet some really great people and share experiences. Gaining new or different perspectives is also incredibly valuable.

Anything else you would like to tell us?
SAYes is doing such important work and I’m extremely grateful to be a part of it!

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Welcome to our new feature spotlighting our mentors and mentees.

Each week, we will interview one of our mentors or mentees and find out about their SAYes journey. We hope you enjoy learning more about us.

What is your name?
Lysette

What is/was your role at SAYes? Mentor or Mentee?
I’m a mentee.

What year/s were you in the SAYes programme?
From 2014 to present…

How did you hear about SAYes?
Child and youth care centre.

What attracted you to SAYes/What made you sign up?
When I lived in the children’s home, everyone had the opportunity to be part of the SAYes program. However, as I benefitted a lot from the mentoring sessions, I decided that even when I left the home, I still wanted to be a mentee in the program. It offered a lot of guidance for a young person that did not have their parents around. I was also able to meet some of the best mentors, in my opinion. They supported me through my endeavours as I went on to pursue tertiary education. They still support me, even today.

What concerns (if any) did you have when thinking about signing up?
Life after leaving the child care centre. Where would I live? What would I do with my life? Will I work?

What were you hoping to get out of the SAYes programme?
Help managing my life as an independent person.

Tell us about the positives of the programme.
In my matric year, the youth care centre I lived in decided not to have the program and because of this I believe that I struggled a lot, in terms of managing and planning for life after high school. Thankfully, I was still in contact with Hailey Nel and she assisted me when I felt lost.

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Welcome to our new reports spotlighting our mentors and mentees.

We will interview one of our mentors or mentees and find out about their SAYes journey. We hope you enjoy learning more about us.

What is your name?
Lee 

What is/was your role at SAYes? Mentor or Mentee?
I’m a mentee.

What year/s were you in the SAYes programme?
From 2018 to present…

How did you hear about SAYes?
Children’s Home in Plumstead.

What attracted you to SAYes/What made you sign up?The fact that they were so friendly and willing to help where they can.

What concerns (if any) did you have when thinking about signing up?
I thought it would be hard for me to open up to the mentors.

What were you hoping to get out of the SAYes programme?
Just to have more knowledge and a better insight on how to understand things in life and my surroundings.

Tell us about the positives of the programme.
They help you reach 80% of your goals whether it’s long term or short term. They’re also there when you’re in need of someone to talk to.

I would love to be part of the SAYes program again this year and forward into the future.

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When we started SAYes we were responding to the needs of a young man we met who had lived on the streets of Cape Town, moved into a children’s home, and had to leave and be independent at the age of 18 without any support or plan in place, and he was afraid. Our reaction was an emotional one; we saw he needed support and after many discussions we decided to set up a charity to support him and others like him. We had no idea we would be creating an organization that would have the capacity to positively impact so many young people like him, as well as the volunteer mentors who go through our programme.

This year has been one of the most difficult for all of us. We had hopes that 2021 was going to be better than 2020, but it disappointed. We find ourselves complaining that this year has been spent mostly online, staring at a screen. The young people we work with have been lucky if they have had access to a screen to enable them to connect at all.

While our switch to remote mentoring is working extraordinarily well; much better than we could have anticipated; a sign of the times, perhaps; the additional costs of providing digital access to our mentees has meant we have only been able to support half our target number of mentees this year. We hope to fix that next year.

Despite all this we have experienced some great new initiatives. We launched our UK programme for young people leaving care. We were thrilled to have found a donor in the UK who funded our pilot programme in full. We are learning a great deal, and we are providing fantastic support to a small number of young people who have left the care system and are living independently. These young people will form our advisory team and together we will plan our next steps, once the pilot is completed.

Our South African alumni presented at parliament, proposing that an amendment to the Children’s Act should include mentors for young people leaving care until the age of 25.

Collaboration has been a constant theme for us this year. We have established new relationships with great organisations in South Africa, the UK, and throughout Africa. We have new collaborations lined up for next year, focusing on changing the perspective of mentoring from one that is a luxury, to one that acknowledges the absolute necessity for young people to have the guidance, advocacy and support of a trained, supported mentor, if they are to flourish as they transition to independence, work, further study etc.

These last couple of years have been all about transitions for SAYes as an organization, as well as for our mentees and many of our mentors too. We will continue to respond to the needs of under-served young people as their circumstances change. We can only do this with your ongoing support, for which we are extremely grateful.

We hope you will stand with us in 2022, as we navigate the next phase of COVID.

Wishing you a happy, safe, healthy, Christmas and new year, with love, Gillian and Michelle

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Organization Information

South African Youth Education for Sustainability

Location: Cape Town - South Africa
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @SAYesMentoring
Project Leader:
Michelle Potter
Cape Town, South Africa
$22,378 raised of $25,000 goal
 
708 donations
$2,622 to go
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