Name: Rachel Bowyer Role: Project Manager In 2009, Rachel Bowyer, Soul Action South Africa’s co-founder, began to develop and deliver a literacy program in Amaoti, a large township to the North of Durban which some estimate to accommodate 100,000 people. Rachel is training / mentoring two local educators to sustain the work in Amaoti 3. The literacy project encourages team teaching alongside teachers and currently benefits over 180 children. Rachel is an experienced teacher with a Bachelors of Education Honours degree in Music and Mathematics and a qualification to teach adults and children with Specific Learning Difficulties. Rachel has been working with a Durban North NPO based at the Church of the Good Shepherd (CoG’s). Indlela has been working into two schools in the informal settlement of Amaoti since 2005, teaching a very successful Life-Skills programme. Indlela identified that one of the greatest risks to their program was learners with special learning needs and illiteracy. Learners not being able to read or write affects their self esteem and self efficacy and goes directly against what they are trying to teach, i.e., that each learner is valuable and has a future. Rachel has developed her Literacy programme to address this need. The progress achieved by these children is both exciting and encouraging. Rachel has recently been able to work with CoG’s and Indlela to employ two local people to broaden the scope of the literacy project. They are now working at the school four mornings a week implementing the programme under her supervision and guidance. At the moment Rachel is working with one project, Indlela, in one school, Amaoti 3, but the aim would be to make this programme available to some of the other projects / churches across the city that she has existing connections with. In time one would hope that it could be introduced to other networks across South Africa. Name: Kholiswa Mathangana, Age 19 Role: Local Education Worker Kholiswa is a born again Christian young lady. She grew up in the Amaoti community and completed her matric (final school exams) in 2008 at her local secondary school. Kholiswa likes going out, meeting new people, networking, watching TV and listening to music. Mostly she likes going to church and just being in the presence of God. Kholiswa was raised by her mum, a single parent, and it was difficult growing up without a father. But as she grew up she came to a level of acceptance and understanding. She has three sisters who are still at school and Kholiswa lives with them. It was hard for Kholiswa to accept that her mum couldn’t afford varsity (university) fees once she had completed her matric. As a result of this she stayed at home for a couple of months and suffered with depression, she felt the situation was hopeless, but she continued to pray and trust God for a job. He was faithful to her prayers and was employed as a receptionist. Through having a job Kholiswa managed to save money and enrolled at varsity in June 2009. She is studying a BA in social work as her passion is to work with children. 2010 brings its new excitement and challenges for Kholiswa as she has been employed as an education worker and is going to be working four days a week in one of the schools in Amaoti with the children. Kholiswa says, “The lessons are going to have a great impact in the schools. I think the children will really love our lessons especially since we balance our lessons regarding learning styles.” Name: Nompumelelo Thusi, Age 29 Role: Local Education Worker Nompumelelo was working at a clothing store and it wasn’t easy for her because she was only doing the job to make a living. Before she went there she was able to do a life skills and leadership course at World Changers Academy (another of our Partner projects) in 2005. Nompumelelo regards this as the beginning of her life and she has never looked back since then. The course shaped her and her world view changed. She developed a strong passion to do something that would help her to accomplish her vision. She is now a fourth year social work student. Since January Nompumelelo has been employed as an education worker and will be teaching English to the Grade 2’s (7 year olds), Grade 3’s (8 year olds) and Grade 4’s (9 year olds). Nompumelelo says, “This will be a big opportunity for me to make sure that I pass the knowledge to the children differently so that they understand, even the ones who have some difficulties.” She is looking forward to working with the children, she wants to work to the best of her ability and be an example by the way she lives. Personally Nompumelelo wants to spend more time with her family. She wants to be able to visit them more often as they are not living together. She wants to save money through this year so she can build a home so she can live with her child and siblings.