NPO aims to help families realise their full potential

Co-founders of Siyakhula SA non-profit organisation, Tracy Valentine and Errol Valentine.

Siyakhula South Africa is working to develop families and equip them with the necessary skills to grow and realise their full potential.

Co-founders Tracy Valentine and Errol Valentine, from Muizenberg, established Siyakhula (meaning we are growing) SA in 2019 with a vision to see families thriving.

The mission of the non-profit organisation is to build families by focusing on personal development and growth.

Ms Valentine, originally from Beacon Valley and Westridge, told the Plainsman that their four-day training programme was devised for unemployed women in Mitchell’s Plain, who were not in training or studying.

The training includes training in curriculum vitae development, work readiness, work ethics, interview skills, financial literacy, assistance with learners and drivers licence applications and women’s health, she said. This is offered free of charge to women living in Mitchell’s Plain who are between 15 to 24 years old.

They are based in Vrygrond, near Muizenberg, but work closely in the community of Mitchell’s Plain via various networks.

“We want to integrate them back into society especially if they’ve dropped out of school or are faced with challenges in their lives. This is an opportunity for women to gain knowledge, equip themselves with information and to help them realise their full potential,” said Ms Valentine.

Lindsay Jacobs, who participated in the programme and is now an intern at Siyakhula, said their support during the pandemic had been much needed – and appreciated.

“The Siyakhula team made my family and I feel like we’re all family. This programme made me feel like I can carry on with my life again. I have grown so much,” she said.

Mr Valentine, originally from Rocklands and Beacon Valley, said in 2020 they saw a huge need for food relief, which prompted the start of Siyakhula.

“We’re making sure families get the help they need. Our resources at this time are focused on the Vrygrond area and a part of Mitchell’s Plain. We help as far as we can. We are looking towards starting a health clinic for the community in Vrygrond especially for the women and elderly,” said Mr Valentine.

Ms Valentine added: “We are so grateful to the funder of this initiative, NACOSA as well as other organisations Amandla Developments, TB HIV Care, Beulah Africa and Children’s Resource Centre who are working closely together in facilitating, being course convenors, providing health care and presenting.”

Siyakhula was also part of the Tim Tebow Foundation’s annual Night to Shine hosted in Muizenberg on Friday February 11. The event is held to give special needs children a prom night experience.

From left are Ward 81 councillor Ashley Potts; co-founders of Siyakhula SA, Tracy Valentine and Errol Valentine; former Miss Universe, Demi-Leigh Tebow and Tim Tebow, of the Tim Tebow Foundation; deputy mayor Eddie Andrews; pastors of Bay City Church, Kathleen Kidwell and Sheldon Kidwell, and Ward 45 councillor Mandy Marr.

“I’m amazed that even during an ongoing worldwide pandemic, kings and queens were honoured in more countries around the world than ever before,” said Tim Tebow said.

“I am grateful for the host churches and volunteers from the 39 countries who said yes to the call. They saw a need and they met it. They saw individuals whose challenges have significantly intensified throughout the pandemic, and they came together to serve them, to honour them, and to celebrate them safely.”

Ms Valentine said it was an emotional evening to celebrate those who are differently-abled and they were happy to be the first organisation to host Night to Shine in Cape Town.

For more information follow their Facebook and Instagram pages or contact Ms Valentine at 069 427 1880 or email at tracy@siyakhula.org