We asked Miselwa (Moza), one of our incredible programme facilitators, to reflect on her first ten months working with Routes to Resilience, and her secondment to Afrika Tikkun Services, and what the experience has meant to her.
As I sit on my veranda, just a week before the graduation of our final Afrika Tikkun work readiness cohort for 2020, which I have had the privilege of co-facilitating, I am filled with excitement and curiosity about how our graduates will use their experience. I joined the Afrika Tikkun Family through Routes to Resilience in March this year, just before Covid-19 was pronounced a pandemic. This was unknown territory, yet it felt like a worthwhile experience that would fit well with my outlook to life.
I am now 10 months into the role and I am yet to work – I am living out my passion, just in a more structured environment. In the past, I have worked with young people on outreach programmes for a church-based NPO called the Hope Centre. That experience ignited my passion for equipping young people with the skills that will empower them for the world of work. My life and background have given me a profound understanding of the social conditions of our community, which has propelled me to be involved, with deep commitment, in the elevation of our society – in particular the Townships.
What I get from this family has proven to be totally in sync with my beliefs, and has reconfirmed so many things that I am spiritually inclined to. This organisation’s core values – honesty and transparency, quality and excellence, ubuntu (‘I am because we are’), empowerment, sustainability and resilience and responsible kindness – fit very well my own, and with my ideal work environment. It enables me without any hesitation to continually dedicate every bit of my soul to fulfilment: I couldn’t have chosen a better place to work.
Motivated as I am by a passion for assisting people to change their lives and to find their purpose, I wouldn’t want to work for any organisation but Afrika Tikkun and Routes to Resilience: they have proven to be a living testimony to my daily motto of igniting young people to make a positive contribution to the economy. Within this short space of time, their confidence and trust have grown. Assessing my own standards, I have not disappointed and I continue to be hungry for success and ambition. I fervently believe that I have played a critical role in the development of the organisation’s strategic direction to holistically support a young person so they feel ready to face the real world. Most importantly, I have made a profound contribution to our understanding of the challenges around the social restoration of our clients and the role of the community in their development, both in preventing unemployment and in the social reintegration of young people and the competencies of an ideal employee.
I have had resoundingly positive feedback from programme alumni for my facilitation, and it continues to be overwhelming! Those testimonies always make me come to work wearing the same smile, the same personality, the same humility and the same desire to cross the advantage line. Most important is my belief that any young person in our programme can say, with confidence and without fear of contradiction, that their today is better than their yesterday and they are sure that their tomorrow will be far better than today. This would have been unlikely if they hadn’t landed on our shores – but, thanks to this programme, their lives will never be the same again.
Being here and doing what I do has encouraged my ongoing interest in research and study about the client we serve, whether we really understand them and, if we do, do we have sufficient data to compare them when they started the programme versus when they finished it, to understand the programme’s impact?
To close, I am privileged to have had the opportunity to work with these vibrant young people from Mfuleni and I am forever grateful for the Mfuleni team I work with, as well as my Routes to Resilience colleagues, who have been tremendously supportive of me.