Avu leading the way
Words cannot express how appreciative I am for the opportunities Bright Start and my sponsors have given me … but I will try.
Growing up wasn’t easy, especially in the township. There were people from many different backgrounds living in bad surroundings, and it would have been easy to fall in with bad people. Bright Start, however, provided me with an opportunity to better my future – to make it bright!
I was accepted onto the Bright Start Programme in Grade 1 at Kronendal Primary School in Hout Bay, thanks to my mother’s perseverance. Then in Grade 5, I moved to Olyfkrans College, based in Swellendam. This was a big move as it is a boarding school. High School was tough, and boarding and being away from my family also had its added challenges. I had to learn to be independent, resilient and to build relationships with people in order to enjoy my time at school. But I always knew that I had the support of the programme and my sponsors, who believed in me and knew I had potential. That helped me a great deal. And I realised that actually I was a people person!
Looking back, I can see how my time at Olyfkrans College and with Bright Start widened my horizons. I played five sports, went to places I had never even heard of and met some amazing friends. Two of the most important lessons I learnt were responsibility and acceptance. I learnt to respect and understand different types of people from different backgrounds, and I learnt that it was ultimately only me who could make my dreams real.
Being one of the first learners to start on the programme has been such a privilege. One day, I would really like to support a child through the same journey and give them the same opportunities that I was given. My mother grew up in a rural village. She recognised that not having much of an education limited her dreams and she wanted something more for me.
My dreams are starting to come true. I passed my matric and I accepted an offer from CPUT to study Tourism Management. I am one step closer to my goal of owning my own tourism company, and for that, I will be forever grateful.