SAYes Annual Report 2017

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2017 Annual Report

South African Youth Education for Sustainability (SAYes) Trust registration no. IT 2774/2010. NPO no. 088-299-NPO, PBO no. 930 035 691, Section 18A, registered in South Africa. Level 4 B-BBEE 100% verified. South African Youth Education for Sustainability (SAYes) Ltd charity no. 1127701 and company no. 6693065, registered in England and Wales.

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Contents Introduction 4 Message from Executive Director and Co-Founders


Highlight: Kirsty and Shamiela 8 Message from the South African Chair 10 Message from the Operations Director 11 SAYes TIL Programmes Outcomes 2017 12 Year-End 2017 Financials 15 Highlight: Owain and Avante 16 Welcome to the Team 18 Events & Fundraisers 20 Acknowledgements 22 How you can support SAYes 24


Introduction Statistics on the number of children’s homes and children in care in South Africa are sorely lacking, but it is known that there are over 345 registered children’s homes in South Africa caring for more than 21 000 young people. These children are typically placed in a children’s homes due to neglect, abuse, abandonment or displacement. Children in South Africa have the right to family care, but unfortunately realising that right for all children has its obstacles. Hundreds of children are placed in children’s homes every year where they are cared for until they reach the age of 18. It is there that care stops, and at this vulnerable stage of adolescent development, these young people are expected to live independent lives without the family care and connections their peers may enjoy. SAYes steps into the vast gap between childhood and effective adult functioning with their Transition to Independent Living (TIL) programmes, matching mentors and mentees to build lasting relationships and foster connections that will launch young people into a future that is brighter than the history they have had to overcome. In 2017, 84 mentees graduated from the TIL programmes, making a total of 420 graduates over the past eight years. Detail of their achievements can be seen in the 2017 Outcomes included in this Annual Report. But it’s not always about the big numbers. Every number has a story and two of these are showcased in the stories of mentor-mentee matches Owain and Avante and Kirsty and Shamiela. SAYes relies on the generous support of donors. Fundraising events this year were held in South Africa and the UK, allowing the programme to continue to grow apace, offering better and brighter futures to the young people it serves. The office has grown too, with two new staff members, Carly Cowling and Marissa Dana, joining the crew and improving efficiency, communication and operations immeasurably. As 2017 is drawn to a close, SAYes looks forward to its ninth year of operation with healthy financials and a continuously improved and streamlined platform that offers more, better, to the youth of South Africa.


message from Executive Director and Co-Founder

Michelle Potter Let me begin by saying how extraordinarily proud I am of the team that has grown to make SAYes a successful and sustainable organisation that offers real opportunities to young people as they transition to adulthood. Working with our dedicated mentors, management, office staff and donors, we have managed to open doors that many of our mentees had never known were available to them. The office buzzes with celebrations small and large as each one of our mentees enjoy experiences and achieve outcomes no one thought possible. The truth is that young people in children’s homes remain a vastly under-served population just as the challenges they face are magnified by their histories of neglect, abuse, abandonment, displacement and institutionalisation. Under our guidance, our mentors provide individualised support to these young people, offering them opportunities for self development and independence that would otherwise not be available. In addition to enabling the transfer of valuable life skills and knowledge, mentoring bridges generational and socioeconomic gaps, creating the united front that is needed to combat inequality. From job shadows and career guidance to the stability of a relationship that can be trusted, the vast majority of our mentees soak up every opportunity to help themselves to a better tomorrow, reflecting in an objective positive impact on independence and well-being. I would like to extend my profound appreciation to all our mentors, our Boards of Directors, our donors and our staff for making the impossible possible for so many of our mentees. Lastly, I would like to thank our mentees, the heroes of our operation, facing down their histories to write new chapters for themselves and for us. I urge anyone who has a passion for young people to find out how they can help, get involved and start making a difference in whatever way they can – volunteering, mentoring, partnering, donating or fundraising. We strive to open the option to be the change, and we hope you will continue to share our remarkable journey to do good, better. With sincere thanks, Michelle 6

Message from Co-Founder

Gillian Anderson Another year has passed and we are so proud of the achievements of SAYes, and particularly the mentors and mentees that have made this year’s outcomes more positive than ever before. But none of this would be possible without the ongoing support of our donors. I am so humbled by the generosity you have shown over the past year. In 2017 you supported the Skype auction that we ran in May followed by my clothes sale in June. Also in June, we had a summer party in London and in October we had an X-Files set visit. All of these events raised significant funds for SAYes to continue our work supporting young people in South Africa. The ongoing support and development of young people leaving care continues to be an issue close to my heart. I am continuously amazed by the growth our mentees show as they are supported by SAYes in a meaningful way. I can assure all our donors and funders that you have my sincere gratitude for supporting this remarkable and life changing work. Sincere thanks, Gillian






Shamiela wants to be a teacher. Her steady confidence, warm demeanour and comforting presence hint that one day she could make a great one. Not to mention, her incredible diligence and work ethic. When we met with Shamiela to interview her for this story, she was simultaneously fasting for Ramadan, studying for final exams and helping to raise funds for Al-Noor, the children’s home she lives in. All that, and was she perfectly collected, focused and present throughout our conversation, making it all look easy. Shamiela has participated in SAYes Mentoring for two years and is currently working hard towards completing her high school education, so she can then pursue her aspirations to teach. However, discovering her interest in teaching has been a journey, in which SAYes and her former mentor, Kirsty, played a critical role. 8

Much of the time Shamiela and Kirsty spent together in 2017 was guided by Shamiela’s curiosity to explore potential career paths. At one point, Shamiela wondered what a career in hospitality would be like. She and Kirsty seized the opportunity to spend a few mentoring sessions eating at different restaurants, so Shamiela could sample various cuisines. Mexican and Chinese food were among her favourites. Eventually, with Kirsty’s guidance and through the SAYes network, Shamiela landed a job shadowing opportunity at a top hotel in Cape Town. This was a unique opportunity to see and experience behind-thescenes operations at a premier hotel, up-close and personal. Over three days, Shamiela spent time in various hotel departments, asked questions, and got a real-life sense of what a career in hospitality would be like. The twist is that the job shadowing opportunity actually led Shamiela to decide that hospitality is not quite right for her. And that, exactly, is the benefit of job shadowing, and of the informed decision-making skills Shamiela and Kirsty worked on together through their mentorship. Shamiela was able to explore, discover and decide for herself that that particular field is not for her. She also learned about new questions to ask and factors to consider when thinking about her future career, which are skills and knowledge that that will surely come in handy as she begins to build her professional future, regardless of the industry she chooses. Kirsty is working on a career change from the corporate world to clinical psychology, motivated by a desire to do more people-centred work. Throughout her year working with Shamiela in the SAYes programme, as Kirsty guided and supported Shamiela with school work and career planning, Shamiela’s passion and drive inspired Kirsty to commit even more deeply to her career change. Shamiela is adamant that whatever career she chooses, it must be something she is passionate about. She wants to wake up every morning excited for the work she does. Kirsty has been so moved by her time working with Shamiela, that she describes her experience as a SAYes mentor as, “inspiring, important and life-changing.” Teaching is now the field Shamiela is considering because she loves helping people, sharing knowledge, and she loves the idea of spending her days in a classroom, surrounded by children. These are all insights she’s gained through her own experiences in the SAYes programme, through being a student herself and living at Al Noor. Through her year working with and getting to know Kirsty, she developed a deep appreciation for having a mentor who is open, approachable, and who she can trust and look up to. She hopes that as a teacher she can one day be that for her students. Being only 18 years old, there is a good chance Shamiela may change her mind once again (or even many times over) and decide to pursue a career other than teaching. This is the perfect time in life for her to explore and test the waters for any career prospect that might pique her interest. We are thrilled knowing that chances are, any future decisions she makes about her career will be backed by the curiosity, critical thinking and evaluation skills she gained during her mentorship.


Message from the South African Chair

Andrew Planting It gives me great pleasure to present the 2017 Annual Report for SAYes. It has been a phenomenal year of growth and success with our team, together with our mentees, breaking barriers with outcomes outstripping all previous years. Over the past 8 years, we have exceeded 13000 mentoring hours, matched 507 mentees to mentors and achieved a 32% growth rate. Our most astounding results have been in the impact we are making in the lives of vulnerable youth transitioning out of care. 93% of our mentees achieved a grade or level pass and of the 5% of our mentees in Grade 12, 100% received a Grade 12 Pass. 87% of our mentees were reported to have developed improved independence and 92% achieved improved well being. SAYes will always strive to achieve a life changing impact for our mentees. We will do this by continuously improving and streamlining our programmes and the support we offer mentees and mentors. In addition, all our programmes will continue to be built on the latest evidence-based practice in serving youth transitioning out of care. We are acutely aware that we work with a unique group of individuals who face challenges greater than most can imagine. We value the opportunity to serve this community with high quality interventions to make the Transition to Independent Living a new, exciting and successful chapter for our young people in care. Once again, we are indebted to our numerous volunteers, donors and funders for their generosity. It is truly humbling to experience all your support. We look forward to another year of success and growth. Kind regards, Andrew Planting


Message from the operations director

Andrew dellis When I joined SAYes Michelle shared with me a vision for what social change could be. ‘Doing good’ could be done better she said. How true, and how important. As the political landscape becomes more and more fraught, the demands on society have never been so keenly felt. The phrase, “we are all in this together” doesn’t quite capture just how significant global inequality is proving to be. We need innovative social change solutions leveraged by effective partnerships across many different sectors. We need to align social and environmental priorities with the priorities of science and sustainable business, and then partner for good. Social change cannot be the work of one sector against others, it cannot ignore the evidence of what works and what does not, and while this is controversial, it cannot ignore the need to pay for itself. Shifting perspectives in philanthropy is just as hard as shifting perspectives in any area of life. But we are doing it. We are helping people everywhere to discover the value of a social change practice, as a commitment to active citizenship yes, but also as a commitment to their own flourishing. SAYes mentoring is here to provide the very best service possible to each and every person striving to do good better. We talk a lot about transition at SAYes and about what that means. Much of the conversation is about the future. With eyes ever so slightly lifted from the ground we begin to look up to the horizon and we imagine. It’s bright, and it’s unfamiliar, but it is a world in which finally we are better. Transition also involves our relationship to the past. We unclench the tight fist of the familiar and gradually we let go. It’s tense, and it’s tiring, but it is a world in which finally we are free. What continues to surprise and delight is how both letting go and imagining are actually about the present, about now. Getting to now takes work. It takes the discipline of making informed choices every day, even when it feels easy to block out the consequences. Of saying yes when you know it’s yes and no when you know it’s no. It takes the discipline of grinding out healthy practices, even on tough days. Of skilfully doing more of one thing when you know more is required and skilfully doing less of another when you know less is required. Perspectives become thoughts become choices become actions become habits become character. That’s the transition work mentors and mentees do together. SAYes is honoured to continue to support the process. Kind regards, Andrew Dellis


SAYes Transition to Independent Living (TIL) programmes

outcomes 2017 We are helping our mentees to become independent, we are helping them to find work and earn money, and we are inspiring them to become active citizens purposefully engaged with their communities.

We are helping our mentees to understand who they are, to have healthy social relationships, and to think and feel better.


SAYes Transition to Independent Living (TIL) programmes

our impact We asked our partner residential homes to gauge our impact on independence and well-being with a measurement scale which ranged from “No Positive Impact” to “Life-Changing”. This is what they said.


outcomes 2017 continued


financials year-end 2017

INCOME Other Donations Overseas Donations Trusts & Foundations Events Corporate Interest

ZAR 13,270 ZAR 2,017,218 ZAR 150,000 ZAR 219,397 ZAR 381,963 ZAR 31,864


ZAR 2,813,712

EXPENDITURE Cost of generating voluntary income Charitable activities Governance

ZAR 80,137 ZAR 1,762,392 ZAR 51,505


ZAR 1,894,034

Surplus of the year

ZAR 919,678

Total funds carried forward as at 31/12/2016

ZAR 278,958



Owain and Avante Adolescence is a delicate and vulnerable time of self-actualisation, exploration and immense physiological, psychological and social growth for everyone. Teens who also have to grapple with gender and sexual identity and question gender “norms” put forth by society face a particularly complex and delicate set of obstacles. Add to that the challenges of lacking a supportive family structure and growing up in government care and you quickly begin to understand how, at only 18 years old, Avante had already become a strong, brave young woman with a survivor’s spirit far beyond her years. 2017 was one of the most pivotal years’ in Avante’s life, as it was the year she began to truly understand and embrace her identity as a trans woman. While she found freedom and confidence in her expanding self-awareness, she also began to grasp the massive societal and intrapersonal issues she would be up against throughout her life’s journey. As it would turn out, Owain was the perfect mentor to support and guide Avante through that critical year. Owain’s no-nonsense, direct communication style, his curiosity and desire to understand others, and his patience and empathy, created a safe, boundaried and open space for his and Avante’s mentorship. From that space, Owain was able to offer Avante practical life skills-related guidance as well as emotional support as Avante tackled more nuanced coming-of-age and gender identity challenges. One experience Avante and Owain shared that perfectly illustrates this dynamic is a day that Owain invited Avante to join him for a beach clean-up hosted by his employer. Owain looked forward to a day of bonding with his mentee and colleagues, while doing good for the environment. Avante was also excited for the day. So much so, in fact, that she decided to wear her favourite pair of six-inch heels. As one might imagine, Owain was caught off guard at the choice of footwear, which was less than ideal for hours of plodding through sand, picking up garbage. Avante also quickly became aware of her wardrobe faux pas. However, being the relentless and dedicated individual she is, she stuck to her commitment and participated in the beach clean-up, high heels and all. 16

Despite both being somewhat frustrated at the situation by the end of the day, Owain and Avante embraced the teachable moment, and not just to discuss beach clean-up dress code. They used the experience as an opportunity to start a conversation about the pressure gender and sexual minorities face to prove themselves, and how to manage and not succumb to that pressure. Another powerful experience was Owain and Avante’s work together researching gender rights laws in South Africa. Through that work, Avante gained knowledge and self-assurance that enabled her to advocate for herself at school on issues that many people take for granted, including what uniform she could wear, and what bathroom she could use. They explored potential career paths and industries Avante was interested in -- from airline flight crew work to beauty and makeup artistry. And they discussed the nuances Avante would face moving through her work life as a trans woman. Owain and Avante’s mentorship story is one that almost perfectly embodies SAYes Mentoring’s guiding values of commitment and consistency, boundaries and respect, transparency and confidentiality, kindness and forgiveness, and equality and compassion. The examples of empowering and enlightening moments they shared throughout their year as mentor and mentee are countless. For both of them, it was a year that was as rewarding as it was challenging. The experience yielded more personal growth, development and discovery than either one of them could have possibly anticipated and left them with new knowledge and perspectives they both will undoubtedly cherish for a lifetime.


Welcome to the Team

Marissa Dana Marissa Dana, originally from the USA, is a Programme Support Specialist in our Cape Town office. Marissa has a Bachelor’s degree in Advertising and over 10 years experience in the advertising and publishing industries with a particular focus on training, mentoring and development – including roles as Hiring and Training Manager for Back Bay Restaurant Group and Marketing Director for Yankee Publishing, Inc. Always inspired by social change and personal potential, Marissa has led sponsored fundraising projects for non-profits and for several years mentored young people living in care homes in Boston. In 2009 Marissa transitioned to pursue further studies in coaching and personal development as well as her deep passion for AcroYoga. In 2012 she came to South Africa to share the community practice of AcroYoga across the Western Cape, getting involved in community building initiatives such as Sisonke Social Circus, The Earthchild Project in Khayelitsha and SAYes mentoring. 18

Carly Cowling Carly Cowling mentored with SAYes in 2011 and now works as a Programme Support Specialist with our team in Cape Town. Originally from the UK, she has been living in South Africa since 2010. Carly left a professional career in dance to work in management in the retail, health and fitness and tourism industries. She was Assistant-General Manager for Virgin Active (South Africa) and Retail Manager for Harrods Luxury Accessories in the UK. Carly has a passion for learning and development and during her time at Harrods, co-designed the UK’s first Sales BA (Hons) in conjunction with Anglia Ruskin University (UK). Carly has a great eye for potential and a love for lifestyle design. Carly has read for her BSc (Hons) in Psychology. 19

Events & Fundraisers

The annual UK summer fundraiser was a great success, with the most captivating moment of the night, being serenaded by lovely Hannah Grace.

SAYes board member and friend, Richard Butterfield, cycled an incredible 300 MILES from London to Paris with HotChillee to raise funds for SAYes

Football Festival 20

The annual UK summer fundraiser

Richard after his ride

We had a fabulous day consulting with Johnson & Johnson and The Relevance Network on #mentoring in Cape Town.

Our co-founder, Michelle, and SAYes mentee, Lauren, had the opportunity to speak at Dawn’s inaugural mentee matchup event.

The Professional Football Association and Tackle Africa hosted a football festival for the young people in our TIL programmes.

Mentor Networking event at the Mount Nelson Hotel. 21

Acknowledgements Our work would not be possible without the ongoing support SAYes receives. We are fortunate to have a long list of supporters and unfortunate to have limited space to acknowledge them all. Please accept our gratitude, each and every one of you. Your help means the world to the young people who take part in the SAYes Programmes. We hope that you will continue to offer support where it is possible. While you may fall under more than one category below, your name will only appear once. This is so that we can include as many supporters as possible on this page. Major donors: Gillian Anderson; Miel de Botton; The Personal Development Trust UK; Grand Gaming Corporate Social Investment Company; Rolf Stephan Nussbaum Foundation; Friends of SAYes Germany Friends of SAYes who contributed monthly: Allison Harse; Andrea Gonzalez; Carmen Schaefer; Catherine Verney; Chelsey Cole; Daniela Soares; Danielle Scott; Diana J. Gerald; Dieter Gockmann; Emily Hamilton; Jillian Brule; Lauren Romero; Louise Ivory; Nadine Hidalgo; Nikki Gandy; Rebekah Mitchell; Sabine Suerig; Shoshi Korman; Stephen Bentley-Gockmann; Tamara Case. Special thanks to: Bodyfrock; Caroline Skinner; Debbie Netto & Ian Beere at Netto Invest; Denzyl Feigelson at Platoon; Elisabeth de Kergolay; Emma Kennedy; Gary Hume; Harriet Price; Kathy Francey; Keith Shone; Lena Whitaker at Oscar Rae; Peter Morgan; Rowan Gordon & Trevor Jacobs at Nimble Group; Ruby Wax; Sautter Cigars; Sabine Schmidt; Sandy Naude at Independent Newspapers; Spring Restaurant; Tania Bryer; Lisa Bryer; Xavier Lablaude & Louise Pheiffer at Belmond Mount Nelson. Donors: Dorthe Steffensen; Richard Stables; Debbie Lloyd at Luxury Hotels International SA; Jean-Francois and Marie Laure de Clermont Tonnerre; Roger Gregory at the Valentine Charitable Trust; Brian Heyworth; Tom Henderson; James Woolf; Mark Longbottom at St. James’s Foundation; Martin Mills; Giuseppe Ciardi; Julia Leal Gomes Dos Santos; Sedick and Chané Davids at Alert Engine Parts; Eddie Villiers; Gerry Fox at Edwin Fox Foundation; Sylvie Freund Pickavance; Liezl Kemink at Imexsar Pty Ltd; Sally Cooper; Shaneen Prins at Lewis Stores; Lisa Bryer; Claudia Herr; Ian Palmer; Richard House at Rotary Newlands; Georgia Byng; Richard Butterfield; Alexander Rumyantsev; Relevance Network; Sue Haglund; Jacqueline Loncosky at Thomson Reuters; Jordyn Galarneau; Michelle Whitfield; Mara Webster; Shoshana Korman; Eva Nemessanyi; Malcolm Charles; Louise Selby; Samantha Braunstein; Ruth Gathercole; Aimee Pierce; Elizabeth Woodley; Kate Reichman; Jeanette Harper; Estefania Diaz; Franziska Vierthaler; Marina Yudina; Samantha Misasi; Ava Bryden; Megan Mulholland; Crystal Fisher; Jenny Lynn Davis. Our Partners: Al-Noor CYCC; Durbanville Children’s Home; Girls and Boys Town; Heatherdale Children’s Home; Home from Home; Home of Hope; Lawrence House; Marsh Memorial Homes; Percy Bartley House; SOS Children’s Villages; St George’s Home for Girls. And to our mentors – the selfless volunteers who make such a difference simply by showing up for these young people – thank you! 22

A huge thank you goes to our boards of trustees in South Africa and in the UK!


How you can support SAYes What’s right for you?

Becoming a resource partner

SAYes offers structured mentoring programmes that are designed to build social capital, skills, knowledge and competence while improving independence and well-being for youth in transition.

A resource partner is a business, NGO or individual interested in helping transition-age youth develop their strengths and broaden their interests. Our resource partners provide structured support within five key areas: Education and Learning, Career Development, Housing and Citizenship, Sport and Recreation, and Family and Community. Young people accessing opportunities provided by SAYes do so under the guidance, advocacy and support of their mentors. This is a chance for you to contribute in a meaningful way and help us to ensure mentees are exposed to opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise experience while living in care.

You can help us by...

Becoming a Transition Mentor A transition mentor meets with a young person (aged 14 to 25) for one hour a week over nine months. Continued support is provided by our programme support team while our mentors take specific action steps to offer mentees guidance, advocacy and support. The programme runs annually from February to October, but the positive impact you’ll have on your mentee will last a lifetime.

1 hour per week for nine months

A donation goes a long way, no matter what the amount. With your help, SAYes looks to sustain the roll-out of TIL Youth Mentoring Programmes nationally. To make a one-off or recurring financial contribution, please visit our website.

1 two-hour workshop per month


Becoming a drop-in mentor

SAYes holds fundraisers throughout the year and we encourage you to join our exciting events. We also welcome anyone who wants to initiate their own fundraiser. For a calendar of our events, as well as ideas on how to fundraise for SAYes and links on where to start, please visit our website.


A drop-in mentor takes part in a one-off one-hour drop-in session with a mentor-mentee pair. Our drop-in mentors are based all over the world. The brief interaction can spark further interest and motivation in a young person who is keen to explore a particular field. SAYes depends greatly on this network of support, and all levels of experience are welcome. If you have a skill you’d like to share, please consider becoming a drop-in mentor. Commitment 1 hour, one-off



Contact Us T +27 (0)21 830 0795 F +27 (0)86 5788 241 P.O. Box 273, Woodstock, Cape Town , 7195 OR 20-22 Wenlock Road, London, N1 7GU