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My Story by Kelvin Alvin

“I remember when I was a little boy living with my mom in Hillbrow. My mom was not able to look after me so my grandfather took me in. He tried to put me into a school, but I had no birth certificate. My grandfather eventually got me one and I was able to go to school.

My first day of school, I was put in Grade 5 and I was very happy. I played rugby for the school and I loved it. I was one of the best on the team.

I remember saying to myself that I wanted to become a professional rugby player. I was not good in class, but I excelled at sports and not just rugby. I was also good at swimming and soccer.

One day, I was given an opportunity to go to France through rugby. My team and I took a trip to France. It was the first time I have ever done something like this and it was a trip of a lifetime.

We played in the Monaco tournament. We didn’t win; however, we did get third place in the tournament and I was very happy.

Then it was time to go back home……

When I got home, my grandfather was very happy that I went to France. At that point, I thought, life is good...until my grandfather got sick very often.

There was one time, when he was in hospital and I had no one to stay with at home. I had to move back with my mom, When I lived with my mom, she was away from home a lot and I had no one to help me with my homework. I lost marks in my subjects and struggled in class.

I started to do bad things like stealing phones and selling them just so that I could have money in my pocket. Sometimes, I wouldn’t go to school for a whole week. The school would ask me if I was okay and I would say yes, but deep down, I knew that I was not okay.

I then made the choice to run away from my mom’s home. I went to my aunt and told her that I could not live with my mom anymore. My aunt took me in and I went back to school. The school was a long distance from my aunt’s house and my aunt had to give me money for transport every day. She is a single mom, and eventually could not afford it any longer.

I stopped going to school for 2 years. My aunt contacted a social worker that put me in a Children’s Home in Edenvale where I stayed for a full year before I came to St George’s Home. I was not a very happy time for me and I was very sad and lonely.

I am 17 years old and live at St George’s Home. I have called St George’s Home my home for the last two years.

I came to St George’s Home because my mom was not able to provide for me and give me the education that I needed.

Over the past two years, I have learned that life is not a joke and that we need to appreciate what we have as we can lose things very easily. I have learnt to be independent at St George’s Home and important life skills that will help me in the future. I also learnt the value of friends that become family and that you have support when you need it. More importantly, I felt safe.

The most vital thing I learnt at St George’s home is the value of education. I did not have many skills such as literacy and mathematics until I started ABET at St George’s Home. Since then, I have been passing my examinations and I can see my future more clearly now.

I am currently doing ABET level 4 and hope to finish by the end of 2020 so I can start my vocational training in the culinary arts.

I hope to own my own restaurant in the future where I can serve food that is unique and true to my personality.”

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Hi All
My name is Dick Solomons
I'm proud product of St Nicolas home.
I was placed at St Nicolas Home in 1997 as a result of extreme gang violence in the area.
My mother was diagnosed with a mental illness and spent long periods of time in hospital. My siblings and I had nobody to look after us and my father was estranged.

I was referred to St Nicolas Home by an external Social Worker, who later became my role model. Till today I am still in contact with him.

At the home, I could not believe the feeling of comfort that I had. I never knew what it felt like to have my own bed or to have so many people so concerned about me. At home, we ate with our hands and here I was being taught how to eat with a knife and fork. It was while at St Nicolas Home, that I got to experience my first time on an aeroplane. It was the most exhilarating feeling ever and the excitement was indescribable. This, was all something that I was not used to. It confirmed that there are people out there that believe in me.

The three main things St Nicolas Home thought us was respect, honesty and to have a positive attitude at all times.

I started working as a volunteer at St Nicolas Home. Then they offered me to study to become an Assistant Social Worker which after I completed, started working at St Nicolas Home. I have come a long way and now work at Mushup Community Development Centre for Youth.
I want to thank St Nicolas Home for every opportunity that they have given me. It is through their love and support that I was able to make something positive of myself today.


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