Mentors recognised

EIGHTEEN-YEAR-OLD Nomfundo Matomane of Soweto was recently given recognition for her inspirational work as mentor of a young girl from a child-headed household.

EIGHTEEN-YEAR-OLD Nomfundo Matomane of Soweto was recently given recognition for her inspirational work as mentor of a young girl from a child-headed household.

The mentoring programme involves young people who partner with children or other teenagers from child-headed households as friends and mentors.

The National Youth Development Agency and Lifeline Soweto, gave recognition to the work of 150 mentors at a recent prize-giving ceremony in Jabavu, Soweto.

Matomane said: "We help the people we mentor to deal with challenges like exams and poverty. I mentor a 17-year-old who lives with her five brothers because their parents have died."

She said each mentor is allocated a protégé whom they work with and befriend for a year.

"I have noticed a dramatic improvement in the person I mentor compared with when I first met her. She is more calm and focused."

Lifeline Soweto project manager Bonginkosi Mthembu said: "The aim of Lifeline is to ensure the emotional wellbeing of youngsters from child-headed households by providing youth mentors."

He said children from these households faced major issues such as sexual and physical abuse and discrimination associated with HIV-Aids.

"Our mentors teach the youngsters resilience and self-respect."

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