Career Mentor Week

“Life and Vision for Kids” aims to inspire positive futures through workshops that provide practical knowledge and exposure to
new possibilities.

The latest workshop, Shape Our Future: Career Mentor Week, has proven to be a valuable experience that inspired and motivated the participants.


Millions of young people in South Africa face significant barriers to growth and opportunity due to a traumatic history that has shaped the fragmented society we see today. For many of these young people, it seems impossible to grow beyond the broken system in which they feel stuck. They grow up in communities with high levels of poverty and crime and lack access to quality education. On top of this, the local labour market is shaped by jobless growth and huge disruption. It is no surprise that South Africa has the highest rate of youthunemployment in the world. We are seeing millions of youth unable to find work or continue their education, keeping them locked in a cycle of poverty and poor access to opportunity.

Despite this overwhelming reality, there are countless stories of success where individuals and communities have overcome adversity and their incredible potential has been unlocked. “Life and Vision for Kids” aims to empower young people by unlocking their potential and providing access to opportunities in education, mentorship, and employment.

Career mentor week

The Shape Our Future: Career Mentor Week was designed by “Life and Vision for Kids”, in partnership with the Sustainability Institute and Spier Wine Farm, to expose youth in Lynedoch Valley to different career options.

The programme was open to individuals in their last two years of high school, aged 16-19, who attend the Lynedoch Youth Programme. The Career Mentor Week offered in-depth information about various career options and empowered the participants to think independently about their goals and pathways to success.

The workshop began at Spier Wine Farm, where participants were welcomed into a professional environment and exposed to careers in Tourism, Hospitality, Healthcare, Culinary Arts, Agriculture, and Winemaking.

They gained practical knowledge and insight through interacting with professionals in these fields and the physical environments in which they work. Participants enjoyed engaging with each of their hosts and hearing about their unique stories.

Genevia Opperman, youth participant: “[She] talked about tourism, how she became a receptionist and how she does tours for people. I was really interested in that so I’m going to study tourism.”

The next phase of the workshop placed the participants in a boardroom environment where speakers in various industries spent time sharing their experiences with the group. This included professionals in the fields of Marketing, Logistics, and Finance. They provided an understanding of what it takes to pursue these careers
and practical steps on how to get there.

The participants were fully engaged in the process, taking every opportunity to ask questions and understand the industries.

After two days at Spier, the group returned to the Sustainability Institute for a workshop focusing on positive behaviors that inspire growth and career development. They were joined by Makkie Slamong, the acting CEO of Cape Town Film Studios, who shared the highs and lows of the film industry and encouraged the group to
pursue their passions. He challenged them to think about their own unique set of skills and to follow a career path that suits their interests.

They were also joined by Verdasha Singh, a representative of Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator. Harambee is committed to removing the barriers that keep millions of young South Africans locked out of opportunity. Their vision is of a growing economy and a society that works, powered by the potential of young people.

Verdasha encouraged the group to think about behaviours that inspire success in the workplace. He helped them understand the three key behaviours that can have a more significant impact than skill or expertise – a positive attitude, energy, and curiosity. He motivated them to be hungry for growth and to show up every day.

Feedback from the Participants

The participants reflected on these experiences with positivity and enthusiasm for their future. They felt grateful for the opportunity and shared that the workshop opened up a whole new world of possibilities for many of them.

Genevia Oppermann: “I learnt a lot about different careers and it made me change my mind about what I am actually interested in.”

Dylan Booysen: “Absolute amazing experience, I really wish more less fortunate youth can receive opportunities like this”

Esther Phiri: “When I saw the speakers at first I thought that everything they have achieved came easy for them. But after hearing them, I heard that they have worked very hard for what they have. That to me was very inspirational. I felt that helped me to make sense of my journey of working very hard and not letting anything or anyone stand in my way, and to believe that I will be the best at whatever I do.”

Meagan Visser: “I am very grateful that I didn’t let this opportunity slip through my hands. I have learned so much these last
couple of days. I really took it all in and I am ready to make some serious decisions for my future. I would really
want to thank everyone for this week and for the life lessons. It was very good to hear it from people that was
also there and how they have climbed up to become successful.”

Wilton Waterboer: “I learned you need to be hungry for success.”

Zandre Klein: How I’ve grown up, people use their background, maybe someone who comes from a poor family, they use
their background as an excuse, but the people I have met this week use their background to motivate them to
do something better.”