A young Imizamo Yethu woman’s selfless efforts in giving back to her community have been recognised by the National Association of Social Workers South Africa.
Nandipha Breakfast, 25, received the Excellent Social Work Student award at a ceremony attended by Social Development MEC Albert Fritz in Century City recently.
While a 17-year-old at Camps Bay High School, Ms Breakfast founded the Sistahood Girls’ Club, an organisation aimed at assisting Imizamo Yethu’s young women reach their potential through mentorship programmes.
The club has grown from strength to strength, and also provides girls with a safe space away from the temptations and dangers in the settlement.
“In 2010, I looked at where I was in my life, and asked myself, Do I get out of the township, or do I give back and plant a seed in my community? There were challenges like teenage pregnancy and high school drop-out rates, and I wanted to help girls deal with those,” she said.
Ms Breakfast has since been joined by three other facilitators at the Nelson Mandela Children’s-funded organisation, Phiweka Buta, Thuliswa Nobhenxe and Nolubabalo Matiwana.
Currently, the Sistahood Girls’ Club has 31 active girls and 15 alumni, who have gone on to study at tertiary institutions, are job shadowing or giving back to the community themselves.
Ms Breakfast, who recently qualified as an auxiliary social worker at Hughenot College in Wellington, was surprised to receive an invitation to the awards ceremony, and thought she would only be going as a guest.
“I couldn’t believe it when my name was mentioned to receive the award. We don’t do this for the money, only to make a difference in girls’ lives,” she said.
“I see myself as a rose who grew from the concrete, which is Imizamo Yethu. I’ve been through things in this community. My family lost their home in the fire, but I want to show people that you can rise above these things.
“I am who I am because of this community. Today, the community of Imizamo Yethu, Hout Bay is my inspiration. So I dedicate this award to my community.”
She said nothing made her happier than seeing young girls doing well at school, and receiving praise from their parents and the community.
“I see them breaking the cycle of poverty in their families, and I see them wanting to give back. I love the value of a young woman who loves herself.”