Staff, beneficiaries and friends of the youth development organisation were treated to an inspiring performance by the talented Zilungisele Primary School choir who joined voices with Durban musos and MRP Foundation ambassadors, Gangs of Ballet, against the glittering backdrop of the Barnyard Theatre at the Gateway Theatre of Shopping on June 20.
The magical evening opened with a heart-warming reflection of the past decade by MRP Foundation Director, Natasja Ambrosio, who shared some of the MRP Foundation’s extraordinary journey with the audience:
“When we started our journey in 2005 we had to think outside of the box. We had and still have enormous challenges such as rising unemployment, extreme in-equality and an ever changing landscape that keeps throwing challenges at us every single day but we couldn’t achieve what we wanted to without many valuable partnerships.”
Ambrosio went on to highlight some of the MRP Foundation’s milestones from their decade of working with youth in South Africa, including establishing the only school physical education endorsed programme by the Department of Education. Centres of excellence in eight provinces allow 67 000 children from 236 schools to partake in physical activity on a daily basis.
Through the holistic MRP Foundation Schools Programme five schools in rural KwaDukuza, including Zilungisele Primary School, are now outperforming every other school in their district, province and nationally on their average performance.
“The early years also showed us that there was a lost generation of youth who didn’t receive a good education. We realised we needed to do something about the youth who needed a ‘jump start’ in life so that they are able to unlock a job and care for their families. Over 20,000 youth have been able to access training programmes through our skills development programme and many have gone onto to find a job at Mr Price or in the retail environment. In the last three years alone we have been able to unlock an annual salary value of over R153,000000 for these young people and these families.”
For Nonkululeko Mazibuko, a Jump Start Pre Production Manufacturing Programme graduate, her learning journey with the MRP Foundation has enabled her to support herself and her family through an internship that has led to a full time job at a clothing manufacturer. Although Nonkululeko already had a diploma in Clothing Management from DUT she found it exceptionally difficult to progress into the next step of her career:
“My whole journey has been amazing and I have learnt so much. With the MRP Foundation it was easier to start an internship, earn an income and support my son. The experience has opened my mind and my heart to knowing that there are better things in life and that as the youth of South Africa we are getting help from organisations like the MRP Foundation."
With a dream to impact millions of children in this country the MRP Foundation is excited to move into the next season of their journey and with the support of link-minded individuals, business and other NPO’s and NGO’s, anything is possible.If you would like to join hands with the MRP Foundation to help create a generation of young South Africans able to author their own future here’s how.