The Sozo Foundation, a non-profit organisation based in Vrygrond, recently held its annual Alumni Connect Day on Friday 25 January.The foundation runs several programmes for the community, such as Youth Café where young adults aged 16 to 25 transition from being out of education, employment or training to being engaged, inspired and contributing community members. They also have Sozo Lifeskills, a community equipped with skills that enable them to love living life, while Sozo Educentre is a place where a generation of young leaders inspire positive change in their own community. These are just a few of their programmes.Wendy Abrahams of the Sozo Foundation says they use connect day as a day of connecting with the young adults who exited their Educentre After-school Programme between 2014 and 2018. “We had a powerhouse in the room. Some were studying to be lawyers, media and film studies, social work, management, entrepreneurship, fashion, ECD. This is a day for the alumni to connect with one another and to connect with us. It’s a catch-up day for them to have face-to-face contact with one another. “Some of them attend universities out of Cape Town and therefore we do not necessary see them throughout the year. This is a day where we get together to hear how things are going, also to check in and see where we can help,” says Abrahams.Abrahams adds that it is very important to have this day, as it also gives them an opportunity to motivate the young adults to press on. “Amidst the challenges, e.g. financial or being away from home, it’s such a valuable moment for us to watch how they motivate one another too. It’s an opportunity for us to remind them that we are still here to support them. We have a tracking system whereby we contact them once a term to check in and hear how they doing. However we find face-to-face contact really helps for us to connect heart to heart,” she says.One of the 2017 learners (now alumni) was the guest speaker. The 2018 learners also had the opportunity to sign their names on the tree of education in the hallway. “It is a significant drawing we have in our educentre space and every year learners sign their name on a leaf. Each leaf signifies the growth of the educentre and the continuous growth and development within education. Every time a learner signs on the tree it means that another learner has completed Grade 12 and is on a journey in the ‘world of work’ or ‘world of study’. This is quite a significant process in the history of Sozo. This is them making their mark and acknowledging their commitment to continue their journey of growth and development through education and skills,” she says.