My name is Elizabeth and I come from Shiluvane Village. I co-founded the beginnings of Keep The Dream196 in 2003 with Louise. In reality, Louise did all the setting up of the organization in 2007 but together we established the program and worked together training people, I did the monitoring and translation because of the different languages.
I have 3 daughters who are all involved with KTD196. One is a national commissioner of Cubs and works with WOSM (The World Scout Movement) she is also a Rover and a full-time employee of KTD196 as a Social Worker, the second one is a rover and also working as an Auditor and finally the last one is a Cub and in grade 1 at school.
I love watching kids grow from being teenagers to being young responsible adults. Although I trained as a Secondary Teacher, I completed my qualification at a time when there were too many teachers, and rather than sit at home and do nothing I volunteered as a Home Based Caregiver.
I was quickly promoted to Coordinator because of my English skills and because of the extra competencies I have as a professional. We were not employed back then, we volunteered to help in our communities because so many people were dying and I wanted to help. I also saw how hard it was for the children, I opened my home to any and all children, my daughters would bring home kids every day that just needed to belong, to have good friends, it was easy to start with these children in 2003, I already had a group. We started with 13girls and six months later we had 60kids all passionate and loving the program. I was amazed. I didn’t think it would be so popular. Back then it was hard because I had to learn the program and teach it the next week.
I wasn’t sure what I was doing but Louise encouraged me and together we made it work. My daughters were a great help as well. I still stay in touch with many of those children. Because of the success of the program, I had the opportunity to be on TV on different programs which you can google if you want. Programs such as Beyond Classroom, Earned, Nhlalala Ya Rixaka, and News 24 all because of KTD196. I hated being interviewed, the children are the real stars of this program, not me.
I have learned it takes a community to raise a child, hence I have been very involved with training parents and Induna’s (Village Chiefs) to make sure this happens. It’s important that we all look after every child regardless of bloodline. In life, I have learned to it’s important to give back, to make a difference where ever I can. Thank you for helping me do that, to make a difference.