Message from a SAYes mentor

I have been living in Cape Town since about ten months and I heard of SAYes from an acquaintance. For quite a while I wanted to do something about the huge inequality in South Africa, so I signed up for a nonbinding information session. From the start, I experienced SAYes as a very professional organisation. Even for the information session I received a confirmation and a reminder. This session was very convincing and so I booked a complimentary training which took place on three evenings. Before the training I had to fill in an online application and was interviewed by a SAYes staff member. I thought that this was very reasonable and it wasn’t too much effort for me.

 

After I had finished the training the matching process started and all of a sudden I sat next to my mentee. From the beginning we got along well with each other. He is a very open character and told me everything about his interests. He lives in a Child and Youth Care Centre (CYCC) in Cape Town with his two siblimgs. He has a fantastic view on Table Mountain and I keep telling him that many Germans save their money and spend a long time on a plane just to see Table Mountain once. The first meetings with my mentee took place in the CYCC and were about getting to know each other and building trust. After that I took the chance to make tours through Cape Town with my mentee. It’s easy to find interesting places in Cape Town and we talked a lot. He was especially interested in my journeys and I tried to find out step by step about his wishes, ideas and interests The first weeks of mentoring were also about identifying topics we want to work on together. It was very clear for my mentee that he wants to get a part-time job so we worked on his CV and he now has his first ID and a bank account. He also wants to overcome his fear of heights. For our meetings, we are trying to find a good mix of working on specific issues and little tours with casual conversations. This is working very well so far. Between our meetings we stay in touch via WhatsApp. In the beginning I was concerned how to manage one or two hours each week, but now meetings with my mentee became a normality. Sometimes we even meet twice a week and I am looking forward to each meeting.

 

Cape Town, 12. June 2019