SAYes Blog: Mentorship Musings

SAYes Transition Mentoring

In Their Words: Ten Years of Social Change through Mentoring

Mentors , Oct 26, 2018

It’s hard to believe how quickly time has flown, but believe it or not, SAYes Mentoring recently turned 10. That’s right – we are officially a decade old, and wow, what an incredible ride it has been! From our small beginnings with 15 mentor-mentee matches, we have now grown to having 111 matches this year, and over the course of the years we have facilitated a total of 15,750 mentoring hours for 392 young people!

To celebrate, we recently held a 10-year anniversary mixer sponsored by Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel and Netto Invest. Former Springbok captain and SAYes Mentoring Patron, Jean De Villers, joined us as a special guest speaker, and SAYes Mentoring alum, Nikita Williams, wowed the crowd with a beautiful rendition of My African Dream. We closed the night with a raffle, and a few lucky guests took home great prizes from local businesses who generously donated items, including Stanford Valley Guest Farm, Bootlegger Coffee Company, Two Oceans Aquarium, The Glam Bar, GOLD Restaurant, and The Wine Thief. It was a great night of making memories while celebrating the power of mentoring.

The success of SAYes has been a massive team effort that’s required much hard work, dedication, generosity and collaboration from an amazing community of mentees, mentors, alum, board members, staff, donors, corporate partners and other friends. So, in honour of this special milestone, we would like to share some inspiring thoughts and words from a few key members of the SAYes community on what SAYes, and the 10 year anniversary, means to them….

  • Michelle Potter, Co-Founder and Executive Director, SAYes Mentoring: “Throughout the last 10 years of SAYes, my greatest joy has been to witness the relationships that develop between mentors and mentees, whose lives may never have crossed paths otherwise, and to see how those relationships move and inspire them. I’m both overjoyed and humbled to celebrate our 10-year anniversary. However, I also know this is just the beginning, as our dream is to one day provide mentorship for every under-served young person across South Africa.”


  • Andrew Dellis, Operations Director, SAYes Mentoring: “What a wonderful occasion to mark 10 years of doing good better with SAYes. Seeing the young people who have been impacted by our programmes connecting with their mentors from years before is an absolute treat. Well done to everyone who has made social change a part of their lives, and well done to the young change-makers who are now themselves determined to inspire the next generation.”


  • Gillian Anderson, Activist, Actor, Writer and SAYes Co-Founder: “We’re incredibly proud of this milestone and the impact of SAYes Mentoring over the last decade, particularly the mentor and mentees who have had the courage to continue showing up for each other to make the programme possible, I’m filled with gratitude for the generosity of our donors and the SAYes community, who have shown unwavering support for the SAYes vision of creating a more equal world for all young people through mentoring.”


  • Lauren Ramos, SAYes Mentee: “I’ve had five mentors through SAYes throughout the years, and my experience with each of them has been empowering and inspiring in a unique way. A mentor is not like a parent or just another adult telling you what to do. My mentors have been like big sisters — I can talk to them about anything, and they are really committed to my happiness and well-being. It’s a relationship unlike anything else.”


  • Khoabane Phoofolo, SAYes Mentor: “When the SAYes Mentoring journey begins, as mentors, we believe we are there to guide, teach and share life skills with a young person. However, one quickly realises that young person is also there to teach you important life lessons and help you grow. SAYes provides an invaluable opportunity for anyone interested in learning about social change, connecting with their community and broadening their perspective.”


  • Jean DeVilliers, Former Springbok Captain and SAYes Mentoring Patron: “It’s the responsibility of all South Africans to look around, recognise the need to build more equality, and then take action. The most important type of success any of us can have is to positively impact someone’s life. Giving of your time through a programme like SAYes Mentoring is a powerful way to do just that.”


From the entire team at SAYes, THANK YOU for your unwavering support of our vision throughout the last decade and in the years to come. SAYes could not exist without you!

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