Vision Afrika’s Kayamandi branch held a leaving ceremony at the Protea Hotel in Stellenbosch last week to celebrate the achievements of its Grade 12s.
Although two learners out of the group of 19 were unable to attend as they were away on holiday, the rest enjoyed a buffet dinner at the four-star hotel as a reward for five years of hard work.
For many of the students who come from historically disadvantaged backgrounds, it was the first time that they had attended an event at an upmarket venue of this type, which made it extra special.
During the three-hour-long celebration, Grade Coordinator Zukisa Xegwana gave a motivational speech under the theme “Birds Released from their Cages” to remind the learners that, even if life does not always go to plan, they should never give up.
“If you look at the word ‘fail’, it actually stands for F – first, A – achievement, I – in and L – learning,” he said. “So the moral is, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again.”
But about half of the group has already succeeded in their aim of being accepted into tertiary education in organisations ranging from the Universities of Stellenbosch and Cape Town to the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Vision AfriKa has agreed to help them with their registration fees.
The rest of the learners are also in the process of exploring other options with the educational NGO’s support.