We are very proud of the transformation and hard work of our boys.
One of our successes is Qaphela Mkhwanazi; an ex-street child and current testimony and encouragement to the I Care boys who have followed him.
Qaphela left home and fled to the streets of Durban when he was only 10 years old. He lived on the streets for two years before turning to I Care in October 2007 to change his life around.
After attending our drop-in ‘Hope’ Centre and Rehabilitation programme, Qaphela was placed into one of our three family homes in Lower Illovo, and attended our I Care bridging school to catch up on his education. In 2010 Qaphela was reunited with his family, and enrolled by I Care into High Stone Primary School in Phoenix. It was no surprise to anybody who knows Qaphela, when he became the first black student to be selected as head boy of the school, only 2 months after starting. He passed with a good Matric.
Supported by I Care, Qaphela then went on to tertiary education, where he studied Travel and Tourism at PAX College. In the afternoons he would spend time at the Hope Centre, interacting with and encouraging the children coming off of the streets. He spoke at some of our Golf Days, and often spoke to the boys when graduating from the rehabilitation program. When he was not studying or spending time at our centre, he was working as a tour guide to international tourists, showing them around KZN and introducing them to our rich culture. He then went onto to get a holiday job with MSC Cruise Tours.
Once Qaphela completed his Diploma, he was employed by MSC Cruise Tours and was stationed in Germany holding the position of a Bell Boy. Qaphelo embraced this with much enthusiasm, obtained his visa and off he went. As only he could do, he was assessed and came out tops. To quote some of the assessment: “Bell boy Qaphela, been on board for 5 months now, has built a great network with his team and other departments, and demonstrated real meaning of team work. He has an outstanding smile manner and always well groomed. He is professional and takes full responsibility of the print shop making sure all the work is done before leaving his working area. He has very good customer orientation skills and often goes the extra mile. He is well known and appreciated for his brilliant mind, his politeness, his attitude towards his job and human beings. He was appointed for a promotion.”
We are incredibly proud of Qaphela, his zest for knowledge and bettering himself, his warm personality, and the big friendly smile that is constantly fixed on his face. We are all looking forward to the bright future ahead of this young man, and thank him for being one of the main encouragements not only for the boys, but for all of the staff too.
Due to Covid, Qaphela is back in South Africa, has trained as a barrister and will be doing that until he can once again embark on the cruise liners and go from strength to strength in his career.