A model of a youth worker

2017-03-14 06:03
Nonkosi Fodo of Vrygrond has been keeping children off the streets by teaching them modelling, dancing and singing.PHOTO: TIYESE JERANji

Nonkosi Fodo of Vrygrond has been keeping children off the streets by teaching them modelling, dancing and singing.PHOTO: TIYESE JERANji

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A Vrygrond resident got a wake-up call about the challenges children face when she saw two young boys smoking. She became determined to change that.

Nonkosi Fodo (28) says what she saw broke her heart and set her on a path to help children. She created the Vrygrond Little Smiles organisation in August last year to keep children busy and off the streets.

“Our community has so many challenges. We don’t have recreational places, we don’t have parks. The only thing that our children know is to drink, smoke and be involved in gangs. However, that is not an excuse. We have to do something about it because if we just sit on our hands and do nothing the youth – the future leaders – will perish.”

Through her NPO she teaches children to sing, dance and do modelling.

“The children know where I work so round about my knock-off time you can see some of them waiting at the gate for me. The idea is to take them off the streets. After school they come straight to me and we do a lot of different things together.

“It’s a pity that I don’t have a space big enough to take care of a lot of children but I’m glad that I can help those that I can and you can see huge improvement in the children that come to me,” she says.

Fodo says it is particularly difficult for children to grow up in Vrygrond.

“All our children are exposed to is our struggles. There are no parks or recreational facilities where they can play sport. Most of the children are left to stay at home and they don’t know what the outside world looks like.

“My wish is to have them exposed to many things so that they can choose for themselves what they want to do. When I have money I take them out to the beach or to the mall so that they have time out. Other parents can’t afford it, which is a pain. But I’m glad with my help others have had that opportunity to go out. I wish I could help a lot of people but for now I can only help so many because I’m working from my own pocket.”

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