This year see’s more of our young people finishing off their top level schooling in South Africa, something that United Through Sport has facilitated for them over the years. One particular man, Zolisa Faba, decided to get in touch this week and tell us a few things about the opportunity he was given:
“This week was my official last week at Jeppe as a school boy, now I am old.
It has been a wonderful five years and if I could, I would do it all over again. I have never really taken a moment to just thank you for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to be chosen to attend an amazing school like Jeppe. I understand very well that if it was not for your kind heart, I would not have got the privilege to attend Jeppe.
I thank you for creating a smooth path for me to get out of poverty. When I go home to my grandmother, she always says that she wishes to thank you again because your kindness is incredible. Through you, I got the opportunity to travel to two continents. I often ask God to help me not forget where I came from no matter how good or bad things turn out for me in life. I want to make you really proud one day and also be able to give back to United Through Sport in the way you have given me so much.”
Zolisa’s history and link with United Through Sport
Zolisa Faba; an 18 year old boy who came from our Mass Participation Programme. Zolisa progressed into our Senior School of Excellence Program with a scholarship to Jeppe High School for Boys in Johannesburg in 2011. He is now in his fifth and final year at Jeppe, and what a change we have seen in him!
For any young boy, growing up without a father always has difficult implications, but for Zolisa the situation worsened when his mother fell terminally ill four years ago. His mother had to be moved to a specialist hospital in Cape Town for the demanding care she needed. It felt as if his, and his brother’s world was falling apart and he had no option but to leave home.
Living with their Great Aunt, and seven other people in a small house, things were not quite the same for these two boys. The whole household was dependent upon the pension of their great Aunt (R880 per month / £45) as it is the sole source of income for the household.
Zolisa felt he and his brother were a burden to his Aunt, not surprising when her pension equated to less than R5 (25p) per person per day.
As a result there were many periods when Zolisa was only eating a meal once every three days.
When the opportunity came along to send one of our talented sports men to one of the top schools in the country, it was not difficult for us to choose Zolisa – not because of his circumstances but in spite of them. He was one of our most dedicated learners, his enthusiasm and determination within our program stood out. He was dedicated and committed, regardless of the family situation back home, and clearly wanted more from his life.
Zolisa now eats regular meals, has grown hugely both physically and mentally and after almost years at his new school, stands out as a fine, well mannered young man. Most importantly he is receiving a top level education which will allow him to progress onto almost any career path he chooses and ultimately completely change his own future and that of his family. Zolisa has been accepted at the University of Johannesburg to study Law, next year.
Zolisa is a great example of the opportunities we strive to create for our children. We are so proud of how far Zolisa has come and so excited about where he is going!
If you would like to support the work we do to provide more opportunities for young people like Zolisa then check out our page ‘How You Can Help‘.
For more information on our work in South Africa click here.