AVA ran a pilot programme for 30 youth in 2013 placing volunteers in a variety of NGOs. The programme was very successful, with 90% of the volunteers going on to further opportunities. Of these, 16 accessed full-time study opportunities, 5 were retained by their host NGOs and 6 found full-time positions with other organisations and companies.
“I saw an opportunity. AVA is
a development centre. So why can’t I develop my art here? I asked Lisa if there
were any possibilities to further my art skills. Lisa told me probably and that
she will find something for me. From there I started to attend art lessons,
which are once a week. Lisa also found a program called ASTAR. They train art
teachers to become aware of their facilitation work. I realised that this is my
passion. This is what I love. It is what I want to do for the rest of my life.
My communication skills is where I can see where AVA really helped me. I was not a person who liked to communicate with people. My communication was very poor. Since I joined AVA, I saw the development in my communication skills. I gained confidence from speaking with a lot of people. Now I can speak with hundreds of people. Being yourself and how you trust yourself. All those things I learnt from AVA made me what I am today – strong, reliable and confident.”
“After my matric I was stressing and I was
confused. I was staying with my mother and my sister and no one was working in
the house. I was planning on studying at safety and security, but because of
what was happening at home I knew I couldn’t and I needed to go work. Even a
bursary would not help my family. So I decided to join AVA.
AVA taught me how to be myself and how to do the right thing. At the same time I was surrounded by positive people and that’s where my attitude changed. When I arrived at AVA it was nice but I was not myself. I was not communicating well with others, I didn’t believe in myself. After 2 or 3 months I started to change and be able to talk to people, I realised that people judge you by how you speak and what you wear so I developed a positive brand. And I believe in myself now.”