With the new year fully in swing, many of us are struggling to keep up, let alone remember, our new year’s resolutions and eagerness for change. Gyms are less crowded, work desks are now covered in papers and new notebooks are all but forgotten about. Change and the motivation for new habits is good, but in reality it’s hard to keep up. We get that. Here at PEN, we are continually trying to find ways to enable people to make and pursue lasting change.
Many years ago, Van De Linde & Venter Projects (VDLV) and PEN came together to make a meaningful change in the city of Pretoria. This came after VDLV’s realisation that far too many young South African women lacked access to education. Wanting to make a difference but not knowing how, PEN came alongside VDLV and helped them direct their time and resources in a meaningful way . The Thandiwe Trust was formed from shares of VDLV to empower young girls to pursue careers that would have previously been out of their reach.
Today there are 11 students fully funded and supported by the Thandiwe Trust. This includes covering all their tuition, stationery and anything else they might need to complete their studies.
Lebogang Sibanyani, one of the young women who benefits from the trust, had no options available to her after finishing matric. She had not received any bursaries, and it had looked as though her year would be spent at home. Through the Thandiwe Trust, she is now able to focus on her dream of becoming a chef. VDLV not only gave Lebogang the opportunity to pursue her studies, but are supporting her sister as well, and thus lifting the weight of providing for the rest of her family’s needs too.
“I would like to say that I’m quite thankful for what they [The Thandiwe Trust] have done, because they have really helped me and my little sister a lot,” expressed Lebogang.
She went on to express her hope that this program would be around for many years to enable more young girls to chase their dreams.
Watch Lebogang‘s story here:
Working with VDLV
Before collaborating with PEN, VDLV were unsure how to make a change. Now, working with PEN has enabled them to make a meaningful impact in their community. After realising their need to participate, we were able to come together with them; envisioning what South Africa could look like and began navigating towards it. Now, VDLV’s projects range from small construction jobs to multi-million rand projects. What sets them apart from others, however, are the people and the heart of their organisation.
Are you or your company yearning to see change in South Africa, but aren’t sure how? We will come alongside you, assisting you in guiding our country to a future we all want to be a part of.