A bright start to next year for pupils

Nicky Ndebele has already three offers on the table and plans to study law after school.

The future is a very different place to what it might have been for two young people who joined a Hout Bay education-support programme as preschoolers.

Bright Start Education Support and Mentoring Programme is a non profit that helps children from poor communities such as Hangberg and Imizamo Yethu.

“We have developed a package to support a child’s development, both in and out of school.

It is a model that offers results for families and the wider community,” says Sharon Freeman, who founded the organisation in 2008.

The programme helps a child attend a good school and provides them with additional support outside of school.

Among the organisation’s 35 graduates this year are Avuyile Ndabambi, 18, and Nicky Ndebele, 18, both from Imizamo Yethu. They were the first two pupils to join the programme in 2008, as 6-year-olds.

They went to Valley Pre-Primary and Kronendal Primary School together before going their separate ways – Nicky to the German International School and Avuyile to Olyfkrans High School, an all boys boarding school in Swellendam.The two are now preparing for their matric finals.

“I have been provided with a very good education and I am really thankful for that,” said Avuyile. “I could go to school and study with peace of mind, knowing I had support out there and somebody was covering my fees.”

He plans to study tourism after school. It’s an industry his mother is in. She runs a B&B in Imizamo Yethu.

Nicky has been provisionally accepted at both Stellenbosch University and UCT to study law.

“I had an amazing schooling career, and going to the German International School was the highlight of my career. It has taught me to be an independent youth, and it has opened so many doors for me,” she said, adding that she wanted to sponsor a child in the programme that had benefited her so much.

“I believe that without this programme I would not be this passionate person that I am today.”

Ms Freeman said: “We are incredibly proud of these two hard-working students and wish them all the best.”

* To find out more about the organisation or to sponsor a child, contact Nandipha Freeman at 078 494 2525 or Sharon Freeman at 083 775 2620.