Lutho has two older sisters who are not at university but working to support their family. He is 18 years old and doing his first year at the University of Cape Town studying chemical and human anatomy.
He comes from the community of Lower Crossroads where Beautiful Gate is situated.
When he finished high school he decided to study and not do a gap year. Lutho said this would not have been possible if he didn’t come to our Youth Resource Centre.
Lutho met with one of the career guidance and life skills coach's at the Beautiful Gate Youth Resource Centre. Lutho didn’t know anything about Beautiful Gate or a Resource Centre. At his school they didn’t have access to computers or a computer lab, so computers were a new thing to him.
During his matric year he decided that he would not just enroll at a university but he first check his interests and then choose a career that he would enjoy. He went on to do job shadow at a day hospital in a nearby community with a letter that he got from his school principal. He enjoyed his one-week job shadow at the clinic and decided that he would study medicine at university.
The Beautiful Gate Resource Centre had a huge impact on my life", said Lutho, "because I had access to a resource centre with all the information I needed in order to get to university and good career guidance. I got to learn how to use a computer and apply online for a university. It’s expensive to use the internet café and print out hard copies to apply for university. The resource Centre accommodates learners for free including free career guidance. This is not something that you get in our schools where we go out to career talks or get career guidance and access to the internet. Young people ignore what they really want and put things that they don’t want to do forward because of lack of guidance and knowing that I had guidance actually keeps me motivated. "The struggles will be there but you can get through them
Lutho comes in now and then the Resource Centre for internet access and other services. The Beautiful Gate Resource Centre is open to learners and the Lower Crossroads community for internet usage, workshops, and events.
My name is Lungisa Sobhuwa from Crossroads.
I am 25 years old, and matriculated in 2008.
I took a gap year in 2009 and participated in a youth programme and from there I went on to work so that I could gain experience.
In 2013 I came to Beautiful Gate's Youth Resource Centre to look for opportunities. I participated in a 6 weeks Self Development and Computer Literacy held at Beautiful Gate and took another short programme which works closely with Beautiful Gate got a job to work in retail.
Now in 2016 I am a volunteer Tutor for a programme called Year Beyond. Year Beyond or YeBo is a partnership between the Western Cape Government and NGOs aimed at improving educational outcomes and encouraging a culture of volunteerism. I work at Bongolethu Primary School. This was all made possible by Beautiful Gate South Africa and I am grateful for the opportunities.
Visit their website to find out more information about the YearBeyond Programme.
Blossom Salman-Grade 11 learner from Vuyiseka High School
"I was born in Cape Town in 1999 and live with my family in Acacia Park in Lower Crossroads. My sister used to attend a youth club at Beautiful Gate and in 2015 I decided to find out more about what Beautiful Gate does. Because I love education I applied for the high school programme. Ever since I started attending the after school tutoring classes at Beautiful Gate it's been great, I can now also help other learners at school. Because of the challenges within the community and at school I overcome them through praying and writing poetry. I see myself with a degree in performing arts and media. There is so much I want to achieve and I am focused."
On the weekend of the 10-11 of October we had a camp with our current Grade 10 learners who are part of the High School Education Support programme.
We are excited to have been selected as an implementing partner for Ikamva Youth and were able to start with this group in the third term of the year. The learners come from 4 different High Schools in the community, namely Phandulwazi, Phakama, Vuyiseka and Philippi High.
The learners are doing the Maths, Physical Science, Accounting and Economics. plus English and e-learning and we have secured tutors from Teach Out as well as local tutors from CPUT, UWC and UCT.
In 2016 we will be expanding our programme to reach more high school learners.
On 3-4 October 2015 we organised a 'farewell' session for our 25 Matric learners from New Eisleben High School. These learners have been part of our two year programme that included classroom interaction with tutors, site visits to Tertiary Institutions of Higher Education and retreats on quarterly basis. The learners were selected by their school because of the progress they were showing in Maths and Science and their potential to become the best students academically with additional support from tutors.
During the programme, we have covered various life skills topics from Personal Development to the “softer” skills needed in the World of Work. We have assisted them with Career Guidance and Planning, as well discussed the importance of being a good citizen.
The tutorial support was provided by Teach Out, a student organisation based at the University of Cape Town. We are grateful that this organisation will continue with their support next year as we expand our programme to reach more learners.
We wish these learners well in their final exams and will mentor and support them next year as part of our Post-Matric Support Programme and look forward to hearing of their successes
On 16th June 2015, Youth gathered at Beautiful Gate to commemorate the Soweto youth uprising on 16 June 1976.
Beautiful Gate, in partnership with SRC leadership from the College of Cape Town, Amy Biehl Foundation, City of Cape Town and New Africa Development Corporation coordinated a youth programme which included sport, dance, and debate. The main idea, was to encourage young people to stand up for something and to have hope.
As Sonwabile Dwangu, Manager of the Youth Resource Centre said "The youth of that generation had a purpose. And we want to encourage the youth of today to see their own purpose. To get more education, to play a role in developing their communities and to take their futures' seriously."
Beautiful Gate’s Youth Resource Centre sees over 1000 high school learners and out of school youth each year. Most attend the Centre to use the computer and internet facilities to do homework, research study and career opportunities and apply to colleges and universities. Others come looking for employment opportunities and internships to help them get into the ever increasingly competitive job market. Last year we launched a pilot project with grade 11 learners to focus on supporting a group of achieving Science and Maths students from New Eisleben High School. By providing Career Guidance, Life Skills and Digital Training we hope to be able to mentor these young learners to discover their career path and assist them through successful application to College or University. Yet one essential intervention was lacking; tutoring support.
In 2015, we finally found a partner to help us fill this all important gap – Teach Out.
Teach Out is a project under Ubunye and associated with the University of Cape Town. TeachOut aims to harness the experience and expertise of UCT students to provide academic assistance to high school learners in Cape Town’s disadvantaged communities. They achieve their mission by running after-school and Saturday tutorials in various academic subjects. The aim of these tutorials is not to replace classroom teaching, but rather to offer their skills and resources to provide academic assistance from students to students. This helps learners to build confidence and to identify and correct gaps in their knowledge.
With focus subjects being English, Functional English, Physical Science, Mathematics and Mathematical Literacy, Teach Out is the ideal partner to help learners accessing the Beautiful Gate Youth Empowerment Programme to succeed academically.
Our sincere thanks appreciation to Sarah Palser, Ruth Brain and Sethu Mbuli for helping us establish this vital partnership. We look forward to seeing the impact it will have on the success of our learners!
This article first appeared as part of our April 2015 newsletter. Read the full newsletter here.
My name is Funelakhe Duze and I live in Lower Crossroads. I am currently doing my first year B.Com Accounting studies at UCT, thanks to the help I received from Beautiful Gate's Youth Resource Centre.
I first started coming to the Beautiful Gate Resource Centre during my grade 11 year at Phandulwazi High School. In the beginning, I mostly came to do my school assignments. Having not had much exposure to computers and how to find all the information I needed for my assignments, it was such a blessing to have access to the internet and friendly people to help me learn how to use the computer to find what I needed!
But the support didn't end there. Soon I was faced with the stress of having to leave high school and not knowing what career to focus on or how to even find out what I could do. Fortunately, I was invited to a Career Exhibition hosted by Beautiful Gate for all the community members. This helped me find the information I needed and later one of the staff at Beautiful Gate helped me to apply to tertiary institutions and for a bursary as well. Some months later, UCT accepted me to study!
Welcome to a window into the lives and issues facing children in the Crossroads community on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa. Most of these stories centre around the children and families we work with at Beautiful Gate South Africa, a Christian non-profit organisation whose mission is to show God's love as we care for and protect children, empower and preserve families and mobilise our community to do the same.