Mandisa Nzama started in our Simunye program, as a young teen. She stood out from the beginning as a committed learner who excelled in everything she did. When she graduated from our youth programme she won the ‘top learner’ prize for the year! Then she joined our leadership development program and continued to thrive as she developed into a young woman of potential and leadership. Mandisa served on our Seed of Hope team after school from 2013-2017 as the Simunye facilitator for the grade R and 1 class. Her classroom was always a burst of colour and creativity and she has the ability to create an atmosphere of life and enthusiasm which enthralled her students, and can be dramatically different from their experience at school.
Unfortunately, overcrowded local schools need to cater for up to 60 children per teacher – an overwhelming amount for teachers to handle! This negatively affects the level of personal attention and interaction that each child receives in the school environment. Due to the complexities of these rural school systems most students focus solely on academics, and there are no extracurricular activities built into the school day. But at Seed of Hope, our facilitators and interns have been able to create a space where these young minds are able to develop a love of learning through storytelling, interactive play and creativity. This is still classified as a fundamental development age and how this group learns will only solidify their behaviour towards learning for the rest of their schooling. Therefore, developing a love for learning through engaging lessons and activity is crucial at this age.
Mandisa, as a SOH leader continues in her own personal development, and is in the process of completing her diploma in law. She is also a part of a team that initiated and facilitates an aerobics class for the women of the community. As of August 2017, Mandisa is now working full time at a gym pursuing another passion of hers, to be a personal trainer.