Wendy Abrahams

Advance Edukos Foundation

What does your company do?

Advance Edukos Foundation focuses on youth development across four key areas: Education, Psychosocial Support, Health & Wellbeing, and Arts and Culture. Our programs cater to children aged 4 to 7, providing foundational preparation for school, as well as adolescents and young people in grades 2 to 12. We offer safe afterschool spaces, including a literacy programme. Additionally, our NEET (Not in Employment, Education, or Training) programme assists individuals aged 15 to 35, enhancing employability and creating pathways to employment and education. Through collaborative partnerships, we establish purposeful avenues for adolescents and young people from communities such as Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha, Schaapkraal, Philippi, Heinz Park, Strandfontein, 7de Laan informal settlement, Morgester, and nearby areas. Our services extend to HIV/AIDS and TB screening, testing, and referrals, along with educational and early intervention initiatives covering topics like HIV/AIDS, TB, human rights, and gender-based violence. Currently we have four afterschool programmes, one literacy programme, two arts programmes, two in-school programmes. We currently have 1000 programme participants across our different offerings.

What is your biggest success?

More than 30 of our learners exhibited at the Zeitzz Mocca "Manifesting the new" exhibition in 2021, during a world pandemic. More than 30 of our learners were the first to exhibit at the Norval Foundation Museum Children Centre, 2021. Ten of our learners were the first children to exhibit alongside a famous artist at the Norval Foundation, "Irma Stern Collection" 2021. Two of our learners were finalists in the NICRO underage drinking poster competition, of which one of them placed in runner up position, 2022 Fourteen of our learners were finalists in the City of Cape Town Climate Change poster competition and one of them was a winner, 2022. One of our Afterschool learners won a essay writing competition in October 2022 and as the winner she also won over 500 books (to the value of R5000) for our library, 2022. Our organisation is part of an 18 month Capacity Building Programme with NACOSA, 2022-2023 2023 Afterschool Excellence Nomination and runner-up from the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport 2023 Afterschool of Excellence Top Coach-Wendy Abrahams

What has been your biggest hurdle?

Our primary challenge lies in the absence of a dedicated space for implementation. While we deeply appreciate our partners generously sharing their spaces with us, having our own facility would afford us greater autonomy over operational aspects such as opening and closing times, as well as the overall ambiance. Additionally, the inability to offer higher salaries to our leaders, commensurate with their contributions, poses a significant obstacle. This limitation increases the risk of losing valuable team members to opportunities offering more competitive wages.