The Rotaract Club of Hout Bay was established in 2016 by a diverse group of University Students from Imizamo Yethu, a township located in Hout Bay, with the help of Mr Hans Kuhn, Hout Bay Rotary’s Head of Youth Services. Our vision is to provide the community and our peers with responsible role models who are known for being dedicated, reliable, tenacious young leaders. As Rotaract coaches/Mentors, we are committed to the success of our peers by giving our personal time and knowledge to instil values and beliefs which will help develop their potential.
Our main project of the club is providing mentoring for high school learners in the Imizamo Yethu. We are working in partnership with local high schools within the Hout Bay area to recruit new mentees yearly. Since the establishment of the club, we have grown in numbers and our quality of work has also changed for the better.
We recruit mentees who are grade 11 learners from Silikamava high, Camps Bay high and Hout Bay Harbour High. Between January and February we get invited to local high schools to present our programs and then potential mentees apply through a shared a link via our socials. Once the applications are closed, we invite all potential mentees for interviews. The interview process allows us to get more information on the mentees. Through the interviews we get to know what their plans are after high school, what steps have they taken to follow their dreams and how their situations are at home. After the interview the recruitment committee will start the matching process. Mentees are matched with a mentor based on their interest of study, personality, hobbies and shared common experiences. Every year the number of new mentees increases.
Our mentors are young university students and working professionals who are highly committed in bringing change in our community. We ensure the success of our program by providing continuous self-development and psychological training for our mentors. In order for them to be able to deal with sensitive issues raised by mentees. We also focus on positive reinforcement, trust-building, and the achievement of goals, by engaging with our mentees on one-on-one sessions and group adventures in and out of the community. Furthermore, we understand and believe that one cannot pour from an empty cup hence the continuous training programmes for our mentors. Mentors are expected and are committed in meeting with their mentees at least once in two months. Each month a report entailing feedback and progress of each mentor-mentee journey is submitted.
Our Main Sponsors
The mentorship of the mentees would not be possible without our main major Sponsor the Thatha Ithuba Foundation. The Thatha Ithuba foundation has been with us since the beginning of our journey and sponsors other projects within the mentorship program. The foundation accompanies and supports students of the Imizamo Yethu/Hout Bay and enables them to take advantage of opportunities to improve their future, and to pass on their experience to following generations. Thatha Ithuba does not simply wish to guarantee financial support, but also to be active through the provision of know-how, personal presence and engagement on location.
Projects within the Mentorship Program
We came to the realisation that our mentees do not afford to attend University and College open days. We then took it upon ourselves to take our mentees to different universities and college open days. We have manged to take all our mentees since 2016 to 2019. This project has enabled our mentees to engage with students who are within their interest of study and also get to explore the campuses and be inspired.
Discover Your Career
Discover your Career is an academic strengths screening and career guidance workshop focusing on interests, personality and thinking style profiles to assist the learner with the correct subjects to choose for Grade 10-12 as well as an appropriate career path/qualification to pursue after having completed Grade 12. The World of Work and various study options are also highlighted and discussed. We normally host a ‘Discover your Career’ workshop for our mentees to ensure that their current subject align with their study interests.
The Career expo is an annual event hosted at the centre of our community, where we invite employers, community partners and professionals in different fields. In this event we encourage our guest speakers to talk more about their life journey in order to create a sense of common situations; to motivate and inspire hard work for our mentees.
In our program, personal support is just as important as academic success. We strive to ensure that our mentees get good grades and we hire professional tutors for our mentees. We promote academic excellence by offering our mentees tutoring classes for Mathematics, Life Sciences and Physical Science.
Our greatest achievement is when inspire our previously mentored learners to join and be part of the club after high school as Rotaractors. We have a number of club members who were mentees before and now are mentors. We also ensure our mentees are accepted at Universities and Colleges with funding. During the pandemic we were fortunate enough to have strength to support 60 families and mentors with food vouchers.
With all that we have achieved thus far as a club, we are still committed; and inspired to do more and be the beacon of hope to others.