Last Saturday saw the end of an era in our Ocean View Project. The five current mentoring matches went through their Redefinition phase, which included an extreme Paintballing experience!
We thank our mentors, Tammy, Cobus and Charles for the blood, sweat and tears that went into the last 30 months of walking alongside their mentees, and Des, Meyoker, Joe, Madron and Solly definitely echo us!
From a shaky start in a college course that was never her dream, Des subsequently fell pregnant and dropped out of school at the beginning of her mentoring relationship with her mentor, Tammy. Now, two years later, mother to a sweet and charming boy, Jeremiah, Des has moved into her own home and has been employed full-time for over a year. She enjoys the responsibility and purpose she has found in herself and next year plans to go back to college to study towards her dream of working in the Travel & Tourism industry.
Having had a previous LifeXchange mentor, Meyoker was adamant that she didn’t need another one. Her mentor had a challenge on her hands to persuade her otherwise, and has stuck through on a sometimes rocky journey to support Meyoker in the last few years. Whilst they have explored several career options (Army, Firefighting, Fishing), it seems that Meyoker’s growth has been more personally and socially. It has been amazing to see her self-confidence and softer side develop, and her bonds to family being restored!
A talented young person, Joe presented surprising struggles for his mentor Charles in their first year. Having already completed several courses and training, it should have been easy for Joe to take the next steps towards completing school or finding employment and yet something would always keep him back. Charles’ perseverance and support paid off, though, as he continued to impart into Joe’s self-worth, leading to Joe entering False Bay College’s Office Admin course in 2015. Joe continues to have a near-perfect attendance record and is highly committed to acing his course and stepping into the workplace next year.
The ‘outsider’ of the group two years ago, Solly is now firmly established as one of the beloved characters at LifeXchange. Having grown up with an absent father, it seemed a natural fit for his mentor Charles to step in and play that role for him. Once again, the commitment hasn’t been easy, but Charles has shown resilience in sticking by Solly from disappointment to disappointment. Many could question the impact of mentoring when considering the lack of apparent change in Solly’s life over two years and his continued involvement with gangsters and drugs and lack of commitment to even showing up to meet his mentor at times, but LifeXchange continues to stand by the belief that two years of continued and committed relationship changes people in a sustainable way. So watch this space – Solly will see transformation in his life!
One of our most outgoing ‘old guys’ at the office, Madron has proven to be possibly one of the most challenging mentees in LifeXchange’s history. Cobus, his mentor’s, efforts to get to know him and build some trust between them has taken almost the full two years of the mentoring cycle. His unconditional offer of love has been tested severely by his mentee stealing, not only from the LifeXchange office, but also his own personal belongings. It seems as though a gradual breakthrough has been made and that Madron’s disorganized attachment (fear of getting too close to people, although strongly desiring it) could be replaced by a more healthy relationship style. He is currently in a stable relationship and has a belief and desire to be in full-time employment that does not involve narcotics!
By Tammy Mewes