BOHLOKONG. – Seipati Mashinini (23) of Phase 7 in Bohlokong near Bethlehem has been given a boost by the Dihlabeng Local Municipality. Mashinini has received a sewing machine and overlocker, courtesy of the office of Vusi Dlamini, the youth development officer of the municipality. The handover of the machines was recently done at the Dihlabeng New Hall in Bohlokong.A few years ago, Mashinini had to drop out of gr. 11 at the Tsebo High School in Klerksdorp because of epilepsy. Following this, the dedicated young woman never gave up on life, but pursued her Plan B, which had been to enrol in a dress-making course.Mashinini, who lives with her unemployed mother, went around asking for assistance from people and from her fellow churchgoers to help her register for the course. She went through a rough patch, but was finally assisted by good Samaritans who gave her money to pay for the course. She said she did what she was doing because she wanted to change her life and that of her family. “We were struggling at home and that was painful for me. I then told myself that I was not going to let the situation get the better of us, so I went out to ask for help,” she said. After completing the course, she again went out to ask for help. This time she approached the municipality and the Youth Development Office (YDO) assisted her.“I wanted to start a business, but could not afford the machines. I am happy because this is going to change my family’s life. I want to thank the municipality,” she saidDlamini said it was a great pleasure for him to leave the office with good stories to tell. He said he had changed the lives of many young people in the municipality and he was sure that he would be remembered.“I have not reached the target that I set for myself the day I was appointed at the YDO, because of the challenges I had to face. I have, however, managed to help a number of our young people and that will always make me happy,” he said. He said he would like to challenge his successor to continue from where he left off. “I am open to new ideas for the sake of the development of the youth, if needed. I am also willing to give away the contact details of the stakeholders who can support them going forward,” he said.Thus far, Dlamini has assisted about 15 people, especially youths, to start their businesses through the help of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA). He said there were six outstanding applications, which were currently in the hands of the NYDA.