Monday, September 13, 2010

New Life for a Net Buddy

Ayanda lived in a crime-ridden apartment building, with no furniture, little food and no parents.  After losing his father and then his mother to HIV/AIDs, he and his younger brothers were moved to Nkosi’s Haven.  Ayanda was shy, awkward, and traumatized by his experience. 

At Nkosi’s Haven, things improved significantly, but he stayed “at the back of his class”, distracted and unmotivated.  That is, until he met Betty and Dave Voigt, who live in a log cabin in Sycamore, PA.  Within six months of their video mentoring relationship, which began in June of 2006, Ayanda was at the head of the class.   By the end of 2007, he was “Head Boy,” the highest title awarded in a class.  He remained “Head Boy” until graduating from High School in 2008. 

Off to university, Ayanda struggled.  His long-time dream of working in IT (information technology) seemed to come to a halt.  But through Infinite Family and our friends at Bombardier Transportaion, who knew Ayanda through the career development program he participated in with them, an interview was arranged.  

Just two weeks after the interview, Ayanda was hired as the first man in their previously female-dominated Learnership program.  

Ayanda’s supervisor at Bombardier reports :

Ayanda is confident, has started helping people on his own now, and is really becoming a part of the Bombardier family. Ayanda really impressed me at our last induction session where he got up and told a group of strangers his life story. He really has achieved so much and I must admit that I am sure he will go really far!

In addition, they have drafted him to play lead on the company’s soccer squad!  

Ayanda reports that that he works hard, has made lots of new friends, takes notes every day on what he is learning, and will be helping to manage the network when one of the IT members leaves at the end of the month.  He calls it his “new life.” 

He also wrote that he will be part of the Bombardier team that is going to build a house in an apartheid era township outside of Johannesburg.  

Ayanda says, “I hope I build a strong house for them so that it can be a home for them, that I didn’t have of my own.  I will make sure it is a strong house.”

With your help, Infinite Family can continue to inspire and guide South Africa’s teens to work toward their futures.  Give today, to support the work that inspires & prepares the South African leaders of tomorrow!

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