As the doors to a new resources centre were opened for the first time in the Maitland High School yard a week ago, so too were doors to a brighter future for two learners.Grade 12 learners Prince Migodi and Jonathan Ndingembote got the surprise of their lives at the launch on Saturday 22 September.Each of the two learners was offered a bursary by Kim Palmer, managing director of On the Ball College. The bursary offer entails an NQF Level 4 technical training course at the institution next year. The 10-month course runs from February to October.The Observatory-based college offers market-related education such as learnerships and skills programmes.Migodi and Ndingembote, both 19, are overjoyed.“I was really surprised, I was really overwhelmed. It’s something I was always hoping for because we all know the situation out there,” says Ndingembote.He appreciates Ikamva Ubomi’s vision and grateful to Palmer for her “open heart”. Ikamva Ubomi, led by Eugene Walker, initiated the establishment of the centre. Says Ndingembote: “I appreciate the opportunity because it is not given to everyone. I will make use of this (opportunity), I am going to work hard.” Both learners want to pursue a career in project management and look forward to enrolling at On the Ball College next year.Migodi says he is still amazed by his bursary surprise. “I felt really blessed. Afterwards I thought to myself, ‘expect the unexpected’. Up to today, I am still…out of words.”The two learners are leaders of the Representative Council of Learners (RCL) and will play a leadership role in the management of the centre. Migodi says he is keen to empower local residents. Principal Riedwaan Kenny says the centre will provide learners with an opportunity to do research for their tasks and they will be able to sit in the centre and complete their schoolwork, hence the numerous workstations. It is already open for learners to use.Kenny says Ikamva Ubomi gave the school an opportunity to be part of the Maitland community and serve local residents. “We will be sharing the centre with the community of Maitland in that after school hours the community will be able to use the facility; children who attend other schools will be able to use the facility and in that way we are developing the community and its children because they will be the leaders of tomorrow,” he says.Meanwhile, Walker highlighted the need for decent toilet facilities as the centre will be running isolated from the school. He called on hardware stores in the area to assist so that the centre can be opened to the public and run at its full intended capacity.“Ikamva Ubomi is here to not just change the Maitland area but also to support and uplift the community. Change starts with us,” says Walker.Community leaders including Imaam Ideris Mohammed, Chantel Goliath, CEO of New Heritage Foundation, and ward councillor Helen Jacobs pledged their support to the initiative.Bienie Garnie, a director at Printegration, a specialist supplier of computer printers and related products and services, handed over two brand new printers and also accepted the position as centre manager to oversee its efficient operation. V Contact Eugene Walker on 079 631 4224 or visit www.ikamvaubomi.co.za or visit the Ikamva Ubomi Facebook page.