Transition mentors are independent, knowledgeable and experienced, with great networks and a secure relationship style.
Rick Nieuwkoop is a Human Resource specialist with a strong passion to see people lift themselves up.
“I arrived in Cape Town in 2014. Whilst it’s easy to enjoy this beautiful part of the country I also saw the opportunity to do something more. My mentee, in his early twenties, had to cope with losing his job. Together we planned what was next, overhauling his CV, preparing for interviews, and making introductions. It’s been over a year and my partner and I are still very much in his life. He is now living independently, working as a barista, and we are very proud of him. We often get together to talk photography – a renewed passion of mine thanks to him”
Katharine Price enjoys working with young people and has a passion for social change.
“When I was younger I did not have an adult figure to rely on which made my teenage years very difficult. I have learnt a great deal through mentoring especially around not having expectations and working with boundaries while still being engaged and committed. I am more patient and have been willing to do things in a way that suits the situation as opposed to doing things in a way I think is right. The SAYes team are friendly, kind, wonderful people – who you want to spend time with – so attending workshops has been fun, interesting and helpful”
Lyndall Marwick is a Chartered Accountant who works for a company that is passionate about bringing financial services to rural Africa and helping communities thrive.
“I need structure to operate efficiently and feel comfortable, and I was impressed with the detail and the structure of the programme. When I heard the phrase "processes required in order to scale this programme" I knew we were speaking the same language. My mentee had cognitive difficulties and it took me a while to fully appreciate my role. With the help of SAYes I have stretched and tested my patience levels for the better. It has opened my eyes to an aspect of my community I had not seen before. I have told absolutely everyone I know about the programme”
Ciska Kruger is a lawyer and management consultant focused on social and environmental sustainability and creating shared value for business and society.
"I believe that the greatest gift is that of time. Spending quality and productive time with my mentee is not only personally rewarding but also, in a meaningful way, contributes to a more prosperous society. My mentee job shadowed with me during a school vacation, which offered her experience of a professional working environment. We were also able to attend a theatre production of a prescribed play. By offering guided support, access to networks and directed attention, I am confident that my mentee will stand a better chance of moving to independent and productive living. The SAYes mentorship programme is an overall deeply gratifying experience".
Cyril Ntshidi is a cricket coach passionate about development through sport, especially in the townships.
“I took an interest in mentoring after years of working as a cricket coach in Khayelitsha. I know that if I had a mentor from early age, my life would have been very different. SAYes helped me learn what is required to run an impactful organisation for young people. My mentee and I have covered a lot of ground. We know each other really well now. We have worked on his choice of career, broadening options for him in the hospitality industry. I set up job shadowing opportunities for him. He now bakes spinach breads and muffins at a local shop while finishing his schooling”
Heath Hartle is an engineer, used to finding unorthodox solutions.
"The incredible thing about SAYes is how enabling they are when you first meet with your mentee. The match support team offer a guiding hand in how to handle the whole exercise, and engage with you to best understand how to structure an independent living life-plan. There’s a moment in the promo video where you realise how big your network of influence is and what kind of privilege you have been afforded by the opportunities that have got you to where you are today. The smallest of connections and decisions can be the genesis of something great. We can share this influence”
Cherry Gammelin is a writer.
"I saw mentoring as an opportunity to connect with a younger generation. I appreciated the challenge and I felt I had space for that in my life. It has taught me a lot about myself, especially how much of someone else's stuff I can safely hold while still feeling stretched in the most positive way. I was fortunate to figure out exactly what my mentee needed from me and what I could offer her in terms of consistent guidance and emotional support. She's grown a great deal over the last year, and I see her grab at opportunities that come her way with new confidence"
Landa Mabenge is a passionate public servant who initiates and manages initiatives and partnerships between the private and public health-care sectors.
“I have a passion for learning, teaching, mentoring, and motivational speaking. My purpose is to leave each individual I come across better off than when I met them. The weekly meetings with my mentee have not only given him assurance, but through meaningful interactions, I too have learnt perseverance, drive and confidence. We have learnt the skill of goal-setting to improve his school marks, which can be extended into many different areas. We work on identifying his talents, and on what he wishes to pursue in his future. He knows, through his growing confidence, that not even the sky is the limit”
Cwayita Debe is Landside Operations Coordinator with a passion for youth development and mentorship.
“I started mentoring with SAYes because I understand the importance of mentorship and it is something that is very close to my heart. My mentee and I have focused on simple but important steps to prepare for independence. Like getting an ID, getting a library card and improving her academic results. We have also worked on her career goals and CV. Recently we spent our Mandela Day giving sandwiches and soup to the homeless around Woodstock. Seeing my mentee become more positive and excited about life has been fulfilling”
The support and input from SAYes has been exceptional – the initial interview and programmes as well as the ongoing workshops have helped the process enormously – I have felt encouraged and regarded which has made the experience a pleasure.
I was so inspired by the enormous enthusiasm, efficiency, knowledge and professionalism shown by SAYes in assisting young people into independence, that I wanted to be part of that journey.
The SAYes team is immensely supportive. They're always at hand with a reassuring word and guidance. They organised job-shadowing at a leading Cape Town advertising agency - fantastic exposure for the mentee.
Match support helped me come up with a plan to best utilise my time with my mentee. I could not have got through the programme without match support.
SAYes mentor networking evenings are a great opportunity for fellow mentors to get together, have a glass of wine and chat – allowing us to share stories and support each other with the mentoring experience.
Two people from vastly different backgrounds are connecting as people and that on its own is helping to make a difference.
The growth that I've seen in my mentee is a reflection of the impact this experience has had on my own life.
I started the year feeling a bit nervous that I had little to offer. I quickly learnt, however, that the biggest gift I have is my time. It caught me by surprise how much an hour or two a week and an objective ear meant to her. It's very humbling.
Mentoring is not skipping through daisy fields, but to have the opportunity to positively impact a young person’s life is priceless.
Mentoring is a mutual process of growth and enrichment, of finding and renegotiating one's space.