STARTED at the beginning of the year due to an alarming situation whereby pupils were dropping out of school from as early as Grade 8 and 9, Mama Ntombi Community Projects (MNCP) took it upon themselves to establish a mentorship programme in the Ezinketheni area. “We noticed that children were dropping out of school at a very young age and therefore decided to embark on this pilot project, taking 10 high school pupils and having them work with seven of our wonderful mentors,” said project manager Sandra Pillay. Pillay said that the pupils were measured each quarter of the year on their progress and they were very pleased to note that the pupils had made measurable leaps and bounds in their academics since the programme was initiated. “One child in fact excelled at English, receiving an award for achieving 80% in English! The mentors and mentees have forged wonderful, trusting relationships with one another, some of the mentors are taking their mentees on special trips with their legal guardian or parents’ consent,” marveled Pillay.Pillay said that as the year comes to an end they have various activities planned for their pupils and the others that they help with things like homework and a reading club as well as some partys in-between for their members. Partnering with an organisation called Food For Life, the MNCP will also be feeding close to 1 500 children this New Year’s Day, providing the organisation with the ingredients for the food while they do all the cooking and help out with serving the children.