File photo: Most of the pupils come from financially unstable homes. Picture: Henk Kruger
Cape Town - The South African Memory Institute (Sami), in Durbanville, helps boost the academic careers and life skills of children who are in Grade 4 up until 21 years old.

Founders Jaco, Martin and Wynand van Vuuren started the initiative because of their passion for education and young people. Having assisted thousands of pupils to master the necessary skills over the past few years, they recently approached local enthusiast Sheldon Allies to help start the Sami initiative in Mitchells Plain.

The programme has already been kicked off in three schools: Beacon Hill High, Aloe Junior and Aloe High. With a lack of funding for the programme, Sheldon has taken the initiative to resign from the company where he is currently employed to become involved on a full-time basis. Growing up in a poor community, he said he wants to invest more in those who don’t have access to the opportunities he had when he was younger.

“Because of the limited number of people currently involved, and because I have a passion to see lives changed through education, I have decided to devote all my time to make that happen.”

Sheldon is hoping to find more sponsors and volunteers.

The programme costs R3 000. This is one of the major setbacks the programme is experiencing as most of the pupils come from financially unstable homes.

“The children come to school with no food and the programme starts directly after school. We need to feed them in order for them to be focused,” Sheldon said.

Financial assistance is also needed because those who need it the most are often the ones unable to pay. Sheldon challenges those who are as passionate and devoted to the community as he is to emerge from their comfort zones and join in on making a difference.

Cape Argus

* Those wanting to get involved may contact Sheldon via e-mail at [email protected]