Youth Development, April 17, 2024, 4:59 p.m.

The Sozo Foundation Newsletter

Author: SOZO Foundation

Let's recap what's been happening at Sozo in the past few months.

Genesis Launch


On the 17th November 2023, we celebrated the official launch of the Genesis Incubation Hub. We invited the generous funders of this program to join us in celebrating the success of supporting 10 entrepreneurs in starting their businesses. Three entrepreneurs spoke, including the founders of Seema's Beauty Spa, Mosebe Enterprise and Beauty By Geraldine.

 

The provincial manager of the National Development Agency (NDA), Ardiel Soeker, addressed everyone and said how proud he was to see the programme's success. We concluded with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

 

Recently, our entrepreneurs attended the GEC+Africa conference hosted in Cape Town, where Mosebe Enterprise was featured in interviews with the National Development Agency.

 

Graduation Ceremony


Another proud moment we experienced was seeing 258 young people at Sozo graduate from their respective programmes on 2 November 2023. Our participants come from different backgrounds and have unique stories from different spheres of life.

 

Seeing them accomplish goals they set for themselves and commit to for a whole year becomes our biggest motivator and reminds us of why we do what we do. We gathered at the local Capricorn Primary School (next door) with family and friends to recognize the determination and resilience of our students who overcome obstacles to make themselves proud. We extend another warm congratulations to all our students.

 

We look forward to following up with the 2023 alumni students from our matric class and all our skills schools and reporting their journey after Sozo.

 

Matric Results


Despite facing the challenging circumstances of living in an under-resourced community with no High School whilst facing extremely high crime and gangsterism activities, which is one of the most common reasons for the high dropout rates in the Western Cape, these learners are changing the narrative of educational excellence in Vrygrond.
 
Highlights from our Class of 2023 Matric Results! 
The Matric Class of 2023 has achieved remarkable results, showcasing the power of resilience and determination. With a soaring national pass rate of 82.9%

 

Here is a glimpse into our achievements:
•    Sozo Pass Rate 2022: 83% 
•    Sozo Pass Rate 2023: 93% (10% increase) 
•    77% of these learners now qualify for tertiary-level education.

 

We take pride in our diverse achievements: 

•    Bachelor's Pass: 5  
•    Diplomas: 5 
•    Higher Certificates: 3


Special congratulations to our shining stars with distinctions:
•    Benedicta Kabeya with three distinctions in Pure Maths, Physical Science and Life Science. 
•    Kapia Tshibombu with a distinction in Life Orientation

 

This class was in grade 9 when COVID-19 started, causing them to have little to no access to schools that whole year, followed by their grade 10 year with only 50% access to the average school attendance level. So, it is impressive to see their perseverance throughout this time. 

 

This past Sunday, Anneke, our Chief Financial Officer, ran the Two Oceans half marathon on the 14th of April. She took part in this exciting challenge to raise funds to support our tutors in the Educentre.
 
She set a goal to raise R1000 for each kilometre of the Two Oceans Half Marathon, totalling R21,000. It is encouraging to see our employees participate in active fundraising in addition to the amazing work they already do in the organization. Congratulations Anneke!

 

The Two Oceans Half Marathon isn't just a race—it's an opportunity to impact lives. By donating, you're not only supporting Anneka on her journey, but you're also empowering tutors at our Educentre. Together, let's continue making a real difference in the Vrygrond community.

 

Thank you to all of those who supported Anneke's goal! There are four more days to donate! 
You can follow her story and support her journey here on Givengain where she has already raised over R16,000!