Helping change the landscape of South African education.

Every South African has a right to free and fair education but not everyone can afford the expenses associated with receiving education . Countless kids from townships and rural areas are experiencing setbacks of working whilst schooling to be able to buy provisions to take themselves to school. Sakhile Ezweni CSI department took an initiative to offer a helping hand in the education fraternity because we saw needs arising from township and rural schools and we wanted to fill them.

As a company established by young professionals who survived the hurdles of disadvantaged backgrounds and strived to be where we are today because we have not given up on our education, we believe that it is pivotal to invest in the youth of South Africa who are the future of this country. Following a thorough decision process, we adopted grade 10 underprivileged students from Emshukantambo Secondary School in Soweto. Although the lower grades are important, we chose grade 10 because it is a transition grade which is critical in terms of the students’ academic and personal lives due to the influences around choosing career paths and pressures arising from different activities in their surrounding such as peer pressure, interest in involving themselves in alcohol, sex and drugs.

During our contact with the school principal before the official adoption, we identified that the learners in their school are faced by the challenge of drugs and alcohol abuse where students from the school are absconding classes to camp in the school bathrooms to drink and smoke marijuana, whilst other students have a high rate of absenteeism to engage in sexual activities leading to teenage pregnancy. There is also a trend for highly de-motivated students who show no form of interest in their learning.

For our official adoption, we invited other youth affiliated organizations to come and share a word of encouragement and create awareness around the similar challenges which the students are facing. National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and Love Life came on board and addressed the 1390 students at the school about the importance of taking their education serious and ways of avoiding pressures surrounding teenage pregnancy, sex and alcohol abuse.

Nelson Mandela said “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” and we believe that helping a margin of young people, we are contributing to a brighter future for our country, the rest of Africa and the world and we urge that companies and other youth related organizations should work together to nourish and revive a well learned youth. Our goal is not for us to stop here but we yearn to adopt more students from various high schools to help them through their high school until further completion of their tertiary education.

Wheels of Opportunities-Transforming the lives of young people

Drugs and alcohol abuse are major challenges which we have identified in the Townships of South Africa and myriad young people are falling prey of the addiction. As a company with some of our operations township based, we have seen the need to contribute to the change we would like to see.

Sakhile Ezweni has started a rehabilitation programme for the young people in the Pimville area. We have seen no better way to do this but through empowering and instilling hope in these young people by providing them with jobs to be our delivery men for bread and other bakery orders. We have bought bicycles for young people who fell prey of drug abuse and opened a door for them do be our delivery men to keep them off the streets and to enable them to understand the effort which goes into earning an honest living. We want to re-introduce entrepreneurship as a new trend against drug abuse, and the opportunities we have given the young boys in Soweto as part of their rehabilitation process is the 1st step to changing a million more lives of young people in the townships and rural areas of this country.

The youth of our country yearn for opportunities and at the same time don’t have anyone to resort to for information and guidance and being a company owned and spearheaded by young people who had their fair share of adversities, we want to immerse ourselves in making a difference in the lives of other young people.