Knysna is a holiday town

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Siyabonga (grade 10)

Knysna becomes a particularly busy holiday town from mid-December until early January with throngs of South African tourists travelling here for the Christmas holidays. Many South Africans from Cape Town, Johannesburg, and more distant parts of the country own vacation homes in Knysna and gather with friends and family each December. Tourists, in particular from the UK and Europe, start arriving in January.

The town is busy, busy, and this means summer job opportunities for students. Many of the youth we know are working at their first summer job this December. This is a BIG deal in a country with 50% youth unemployment. Siyabonga (photo) just started at a boat dealership, Lumko is working as a waiter, Masi & Simbulele have job interviews today, Zamela works at a car wash, Mazwi was hired Saturday at Fruit N Veg, Chester was hired as a busboy, Thomas, Nolu, Paul, and many others are also working during the holidays.

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While some of our tutoring and mentorship programs break for 1 or 2 weeks over Xmas, this provides an opportunity to focus on individual youth and one-on-one mentorship.

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Thiso

Stemming from our previous blog post, we now have sponsorship for school lunch for Thiso!! Thank you, thank you.

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Ben

Thanks to ongoing sponsorship from the Khayamandi Foundation of Athens, Georgia, Ben just received a new Dell computer! Ben commences his 2nd year of Computer Science at the University of the Western Cape and the used laptop we provided 2 years ago is no longer up to the task. Thank you to all the kind-hearted individuals of Khayamandi.

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L to R: Sea-un (age 17), Cha-Chee (age 14), Melvin (age 15)

Jim’s work with a group of street youth is yielding slow, but steady, results. The focus on cleanliness resulted in 3 MUCH cleaner young guys when they arrived for our most recent roadside meeting. We meet at the corner of a petrol station parking lot, despite security people always trying to move the boys along. Our friend Penny drove by during a recent meeting and had quite the chuckle seeing Jim sitting on the ground in front of the 6 boys. I’m sure a photo will surface one of these days!

Merry Christmas to all, and thank you to everyone who continues to follow our blog and support our initiatives with youth in South Africa and Zimbabwe.