Last week one of our recent graduates was waiting for us at our school bus stop. My first thought was that maybe he was there to ask for help. When a former street child graduates from Sepheo, we don't usually hand them their next step. It's up to them. We know we have done our job to prepare them, and we watch to see what they choose to do with what they've learned.
Today, almost a year on from leaving, this young man was joyful. He presented well and had confidence. He had found himself a job right near where we met him. He's learning to be a mechanic. He'd done it by himself.
At Sepheo, our goal is not to raise people who continue being dependent on others throughout their lives. Our goal is to give young people what they need to succeed. Most of the time, this has nothing to do with skills, but rather the internal drive to overcome challenges and the idea that life is too important to waste. During his time with us, this young man developed the desire for a good life. Building these qualities in young people is precisely what Sepheo specialises in.
As we laughed together, he said, "look at me, ntate Josh!" He was proud of himself. I can only think that had we given this boy absolutely everything, we would have robbed him of the opportunity to find his own way in the world and be truly successful.
Before we started Sepheo School in 2014, I wrote a blog, where I said, "For students to be truly successful, they must develop develop character and integrity. (Sepheo School will be) a program which focuses on team-work, determination and problem-solving."
We have seen this vision play out over the years. Our graduates, once depressed and alone, are full of life and are trying to be the best they can be. This is Excellence out of Poverty.