Joderick Veldtman 08 DELTA (PRIDE sports club, Hanover Park)

Before joining the programme, I had no sense of direction. Like many young people growing up in communities where violence is the order of the day, I was not sure where I was heading in life. Lack of role models and gangsterism were the norm. For a sense of belonging, one was enticed and tempted to join gangs. Living in such settings, is a constant struggle, even more so when you are not empowered with the life skills taught at the Chrysalis Academy. One of the best decisions I took in my life, was joining the Chrysalis Academy.

At Chrysalis, I met people from different walks of life, I understood the meaning of diversity, sharing experiences and working as a team. I was pushed to see myself beyond my challenges and circumstances. The three-months programme was challenging in many ways, mentally and physically. However, now I can face any challenging situation, as the result of the potential that was unleashed, when I was a student. After Chrysalis Academy, I joined an organization called CASE (Community Action towards a Safer Environment). This organization is working with youth and children from the different schools in Hanover Park, facilitating after school leadership and life skills programmes. As a result of my commitment and willingness to learn, I had an opportunity to travel abroad to Canada. I was part of a six-months volunteer youth exchange programme, which involved Cape Town and Canada. The values and principles I learnt at the academy, helped to set me apart from others. I was disciplined and able to co-exist with people from different back grounds.

In 2014, through dedication and passion for development and being a change agent in my community, I become Head Youth at CASE. I also started an NGO with friends, who share the same values and passion for community and youth development as I do, called PRIDE (Perseverance, Respect, Integrity, Determination and Empathy) sports club.  During the five years at CASE, I received training at UWC on how to work with youth who are using drugs, and how to start your own organization. Taking that training and my Chrysalis and volunteer experience, like the Chrysalis butterfly, it made sense for me to fly and work on an NGO I have founded. I get a great sense of joy to see young people developing and become empowered to make something positive of their lives. As a result of my leadership skills, I am currently serving on the CTBA (Cape Town Basketball Association) Executive.

I thank Chrysalis Academy not only for unleashing my potential, but for restoring my passion and love of working with people. I am proud to say, I am the role model I lacked as a young man, growing up on the Cape Flats. I am PROUD to say I AM A CHRYSALIS SUCCESS STORY!

Alumni Celebrating the achievement of Chrysalis Academy graduates over the 20 years!

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