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History of Zoe Academy

After looking at different training institutions we were very careful as to how we were about to structure the skills training centre. We believe that if one does not learn from history, then history will repeat it self. Many factors were taken into account as we felt it very necessary to empower our community so that they in turn could rebuild their community. In these types of communities those living there becomes blinded by the challenges and living conditions which they find themselves in. They then become one with the physical conditions, as they loose all sense of hope and give up on their dreams.

Our eyes were opened by a building that was standing vacant for the last 7 years and after talks with the provincial government and the Premier, we were given the opportunity to lease the building from the government for the amount of R150 per month for the purpose of it being a skills centre.
We were given the building in a vacant and vandalized state in January of 2010. With the help of the 200 volunteers, the site was cleaned. We then started to work on the building by using the unemployed skilled and unskilled labour within the community and completed renovations within 35 days, preparing the building for the ribbon cutting event done by the Premier, Helen Zille, on the 11th of May 2010.
We raised the necessary finance as a NPO on our own without any government assistance. The centre will be used for skills development of different skills. The students will however first go through the Grassroots programme (Life Skills) and then be exposed to small business training and computer training, before being developed in their specialized skills which they applied for.
The NPO conducted a skills audit of the Delft Community with the assistance of the students of the University of Stellenbosch. The NPO takes on the role of the “Father Figure” within the community and takes responsibility for the community to be skilled and later sources permanent employment for the students that completed their training at no cost to the community at all.
Initially the students will only be requested to contribute R100 to help with ID tags and student administration fees. The rest of the cost will be done on a bursary level and businesses will provide bursaries for students and afterwards will give them employment, after they have finished the skills training.  The different skill packages that will be offered are: hard and soft skills.
We have also established a crèche (day care facility, with qualified teachers) at the facility to assist the single mothers who do not have money for a crèche and can therefore not attend skills training, as they do not have anybody to look after their children. We look after their children while they get trained, free of charge. This enables the mothers to get trained and get jobs, while their children are being taken care of.
The idea is to establish a skills training centre where people will be shown their potential and then trained as to how to apply their skills while we source employment for them. The facilitators would also fulfil the role of a mentor to guide the students through the daily life struggles and in the skill that they were trained in, building resilience for them to achieve their dreams.

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