Testimonies - Transformation hit Northern
Zululand and lives continue to be changed in
courses around Durban. More…
Major renovation of WCAs leadership centre -
New roofs, new tiled showers and bathrooms,
new electric fence, renovated cabin and fresh
paint all around. The centreko8 is finally in a state
that we can be proud of. More…
New level of professionalism - Full policies,
complete job descriptions and action plans have
been developed for all staff. Good computers
were donated as well. More… Staff Members Celebrate at Year End Function
Statistics - We've trained 1184 people from August - December last year. More…
Follow-Up Programme given new life - Structured 12-week programme developed for people once they finish
our life skills course for the unemployed. More…
New programme for employees - WCA is now training employees, a target group that needs life skills and
leadership as much as the high school students and unemployed do. An added benefit is that this group has more
resources to pay closer to what the programmes are actually worth. More…
Expansion to Manguzi, Northern Zululand - Vusi, a former student and WCA staff member, started a life
skills course in Manguzi, Northern Zululand. As a result, just a few months later, World Changers now has a
presence in the region with 9 full-time workers as part of a partnership with a local NGO that focuses on dealing
with the AIDS epidemic - Tholulwazi. More…
Partnership with Lily of the Valley - Khaya, one of WCA's longer-serving staff members, has started running
World Changers life skills programmes in partnership with Lily of the Valley, a comprehensive NGO based
between Durban and Pietermaritzburg focusing on orphan care, but with many other community-based initiatives.
Teams and volunteers - As usual, WCA has been blessed with help from people far and wide. More…
Staff Profile – Sandile Bele, our high school programmes manager, is the 2 nd longest serving WCA staff
member. He has quite a story to tell. More…
Current Needs – Money, volunteers, centre equipment, prayers. More…
Website – The World Changers website is completely updated with new content, including all the documentation
on the downloads page (like the powerpoint presentation, the overview document, statistics, etc.). Have a look by
going to www.wca-sa.org .
THE FULL STORY
Testimonies – Below are just a few of the comments from some of the 78 students of the life skills course that
Vusi ran in Manguzi (northern Zululand) in August-October last year
“I thought that if you are an orphan you will never have a bright future, but now I know that I can become
whatever I want to become”.(she was saying all this in tears).
“My marriage has been revived; my husband even said if he had enough money we were going to marry again”.
“I have been to prison, but I am not going back any more, my life will never be the same”.
“I got the job opportunity but I realized that this course is far more important than a job., I received life and
On the first day of the course one lady stood up and said “Thank you very much for coming here for our lives
were messed-up and we thought there was no reason for our existence and what we have been doing is to make
babies but now we know that there is purpose for our lives”.(Busisiwe Gumede).
“I used to drink every weekend and this past weekend my friends came to pick me up. I refused to go with them
and they left. That very same day they had a car accident and one of them might be in a wheel chair. I was going
to be with them but because of Life Skills, my life was spared. Maybe I was going to die but because I know the
truth through Life Skills, the course saved my life”.
“I have forgiven my father and I am no longer living like a thug lady”.
“I was a crooked Christian, a snake, but now I am upright”.
Eight of the students from this course are now full-time staff, running World Changers life skills courses
themselves, and 4 others are full-time running drama programmes in high schools based on World Changers
materials (after they all did a World Changers leadership course), supported by a local organization in the region.
The 8 World Changers workers are managed by an experienced World Changers staff member, Mdu Zungu. Vusi
himself used to be a hardened criminal before he did the first life skills course in August 2002, only two weeks
after he was released from prison (he had been in and out of prison over 10 times and he was only 24). He now
leads a community-based organization called Light Providers, which he started while still a World Changers staff
member. He still continues to partner with World Changers and he shares our message to thousands.
Major renovation of WCAs leadership centre
– As a result of donations from four USA
sources, we have been able to get our centre up
to a decent standard that is more appropriate for
the programmes we run there. We
accommodate and feed about 50 people on
average per day during weekdays (about half
staff and half students), and this number
sometimes reaches up to 70. When we moved
in, we only had 2 showers, 2 baths and 4 toilets
for all these people. Also, we many buildings
had no flooring (e.g. tiles or carpet) and were
generally in a poor state. We have
accomplished the following in the last two
years, but most of it was done in the last 4
Plumbing/Brickwork The flat in the process of being renovated
Built 10 showers
Installed 5 toilets
Installed 5 hot water heaters (2 were replacements)
Vastly extended 2 septic tanks
Built 1 large leach pit (soak away)
Installed 7 hand washing basins
Reconfigured entire water pipe system
Tiling - Put 200m2 (1800ft2) of floor tiles and 90m2 (800ft2) of
Fencing – We put up a 400m (1200ft) electric fence with two
car gates and two pedestrian gates
Cabin relocation – We relocated the 2 bedroom wooden cabin,
which was previously isolated and therefore not secure, to a
location closer with the other buildings. At first this was done
by the staff, then later we hired a professional crew to
disassemble it and put it up properly.
Roofing – We had two roofs that were in poor repair when we
got the place. The flat roof was a danger, as termites had eaten
out much of the wood holding it up and the roofing was
Rondavel before and after
asbestos. The rondovel (round room) roof was leaking all over. We replaced both roofs and put ceilings in both
buildings. The rondovel is 28m (250ft) and the flat is 63m (570ft).
Painting – We have painted almost all the walls of all our buildings.
Road – Our road is 600m to the main tar road, and this was not built with proper drainage, so we have had to do
quite a bit of work on it to get it into decent shape and it also requires quite a bit of maintenance.
Equipment - We also spent about R40 000 (about $6000 with the exchange rates at the time) on equipment, such
as about 40 bunk beds, fridges, etc.
All this was done with just the four following sources:
Person – Funding Designation Dollars Rand
Diane Downs - Donation for tiling $1,000 R 6,089
Ruth Ann White - Loan on top of property purchase price $19,897 R 132,205
Loving South Africa - Donation for roofing $12,000 R 67,570
Trust administered by Dick Jefferson - Undesignated donation
NOTE: An additional $2191 (R15 000) was used to buy a car - total
donation was $25 000) $22,809 R 156,148
TOTAL $55,706 R 362,012
We greatly thank those who have contributed towards this. Now, we hope to continue on our track of developing
our centre to what we want it to be, but we have run out of money to do so. We have been given quotes to do the
following work that is part of our plan to develop our place:
RENOVATIONS SA RAND US DOLLARS
walkway main building R 13,490 $1,927
walkway boys dorm R 5,580 $797
staircase R 9,610 $1,373
yard near rondavel R 15,020 $2,146
Pool (estimate without quote) R 20,000 $2,857
TOTAL FURTHER RENOVATIONS R 63,700 $9,100
new lecture hall R 308,240 $44,034
Garage area - 4 cars (estimate without quote) R 200,000 $28,571
new dormitory R 428,410 $61,201
TOTAL NEW CONSTRUCTION R 936,650 $133,807
Bunk beds (40 beds) R 44,000 $6,286
Wardrobes/Dressers (Built-in or free-standing)
(40 wardrobes and dressers) (estimate) R 80,000 $11,429
TOTAL EQUIPMENT R 124,000 $17,714
TOTAL CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS R 1,124,350 $160,621
Exchange rate R/$ 7
New level of professionalism – WCA has been greatly blessed to have a new operations manager, Craig
Bouchier, the first salaried person in World Changers (other staff get small stipends). Craig has helped to get the
organization to an increased level of excellence, focusing mostly on coordinating the improvement in the
facilities and getting the general administration to be solid. He modified a policy document given to us by Youth
for Christ KZN, the regional office of an international NGO, and so now we have a comprehensive 50 page
policy document. He also drew up volunteer contracts for all our staff (previously we didn’t have anything). All
the staff have been trained in understanding these documents. Also, in July/August last year, Joe put together
action plans and job descriptions for each staff, which the staff members are slowly getting to understand an
operate with. So WCA is moving to another level in its development as an organization.
Statistics – The following are the numbers trained between August and December last year:
Dates # Students # Courses # New # Schools
2007 - July – December
Life Skills for Unemployed (4 weeks, 20 days, 4
hours daily) 550 25 1
Leadership for Out-of-school Youth (11 weeks, 5
residential, 6 outreach in their own communities) 57 3
Leadership for High Schools (7 days residential) 23 1
Life Skills for HS students (5-10 day courses) 150 2 1
Life Skills for HS students (1 hour, weekly) 404 16 5 8
TOTAL 2007 1184 47 7
NOTE: The high school life skills students started at the beginning of the year, but the course involved 1 hour
sessions per week throughout the year. The total number of people trained to date since we started in August
2002 is 8618.
Follow-Up Programme given new life – For the last few years, WCA has had a follow-up programme,
particularly for the unemployed who finish the life skills course. This programme has helped students to find job,
study, volunteer and other opportunities and also has involved follow-up meetings after each life skills course.
However, it hasn’t been particularly well structured and the follow-up meetings are often not well attended and
often die out after just a few weeks after each life skills course. Now, we have put together a more structured
follow-up programme that goes for 12 weeks, 2 hours per week after each life skills course. These meetings
involve further training, motivational talks from former students, organizations sharing about opportunities for
our students, and regular support for these students to help them be productive with their lives. We plan to
monitor our students volunteer and self-study activities through weekly written and verbal reports from them so
that we can help them be more productive with their time, which in turn will make them more employable. We
will also actively look for businesses who would like to employ our students, highlighting that the students have
developed a track record of taking self-initiative through their self-study and volunteer efforts. This programme
targets the students from the recent life skills course. We also plan to start a monthly meeting in each area that
we work in for students who have gone through life skills at any time in the past in each area. We are also
working on a system to collect better data from students after they finish our courses so that we can better see our
success rate. Finally, we aim to run a vast research project to analyze our success rate over the 5 years since we
started in 1, or several communities.
New programme for employees – Smah White, Joe White’s wife and a former student of World Changers, is
leading this new venture to reach employees with life skills and leadership programmes. The initial focus will be
on training the lower level employees in companies, as there is a great need for training for this group of people,
as companies often don’t have the resources to put these people through training programmes. Our intensive life
skills course will involve two residential weekend programmes (at the beginning and end) and 12 weeks of
weekly life skills programmes (for 1-2 hours each), often done at the workplace. It will between R730 ($100) and
R1250 ($180) per person, depending on the size of the group.
Expansion to Manguzi, Northern
Zululand – As mentioned above, WCA is
partnering with an organization called
Tholulwazi, which focuses on AIDS-
related issues, in the Manguzi area, in
northern KwaZulu Natal. This came about
originally as a result of a friendship
between Joe and Sizwe with a doctor in the
area, Colin Pfaff (Sizwe is also originally
from the area). However, it was Vusi who
took the challenge to go up there and really
get something going there. As a result,
Tholulwazi has found funding for 9 full-
time workers to run life skills programmes
for the unemployed and in high schools (8
are from the area recently trained by WCA
and 1 is a WCA staff member, Mdu Zungu,
Manguzi Student (now Staff) Practicing Facilitation
who was sent to manage the whole
project). So far, it is going well. Last year, as a part of their leadership programme outreach, the 11 students sent
from Manguzi (8 of which are now running this programme and 3 running a related drama programme for
schools) went back to run two life skills courses for high school students for two weeks, where they trained about
150 people. Currently, they have started life skills courses for the unemployed at two different places and they
are working with two different high schools running many life skills programmes in the schools.
Partnership with Lily of the Valley – One of the new WCA board members is Noel Wright, the chairman and
long-time driving force behind Lily of the Valley, an organization that focuses on orphan care, but which also
runs many other community projects. After attending the first board meeting, Noel asked if his organization
could partner with WCA in running life skills programmes in their region (rural communities in between Durban
and Pietermaritzburg). As a result, WCA has asked one of its long serving staff members, Khaya Mafunda, to
pilot life skills courses in different areas that Lily works with. Khaya will raise up leaders through these
programmes who can eventually take over running the various programmes that he starts. Lily has committed to
fund these programmes entirely.
Teams and volunteers – We had a team from Loving South Africa visit us for two days in November last year.
One of the team members, Amber Bennett, a physical therapist from Indianapolis, USA, will be joining us in
April to volunteer for about 5 months. We had Leanne O’Donnel, an Australian lawyer who volunteered as our
Chief Administrator for about 1 year from 2005-06, visit us for a month and helped to teach and mentor staff in
how to operate on their action plans. We have also had the help of Richard Woods, a former HR manager, who
has mentored our Programmes Manager/HR Manager, Msizi, and who has helped other staff with strategy and
planning in their work. We also plan to have Olivia Cheung from Australia come to work with us from March
onwards for about six months in the area of
communications and creative input into our
programmes. She was a volunteer with The Oaktree
Foundation, one of our key partners.
Staff Profile – Sandile Bele’s Story
Sandile is the High Schools Programme Manager for
World Changers Academy (WCA). He is the head of
a five person team that teaches life skills in high
schools in the Durban area. He has been with WCA
An Unauspicious Beginning
Sandile was born 23 years ago in KwaMashu, a
crowded suburb of Durban with over a quarter of a
million impoverished people. He is the fourth of Muzi, Sandile and George (from left to right)
seven children, four boys and three girls, born into a poor family. He grew up in an environment of crime and a
high rate of out-of-wedlock teenage pregnancies.
His father once had a humble business, a small shop selling alcohol, drinks, and snacks to the community. His
mother battled alcoholism which fueled fighting between his parents.
One of his sisters died of AIDS, another sister is HIV+, and a brother died in prison.
His friends carried guns and knives. They sold illegal drugs and, at times, participated in hijackings and
burglaries. Three of these friends died violent deaths and another is serving a 20 year prison sentence. Sandile
was shot at three different times.
One Persistent Woman
When Sandile was a teenager, a woman, Marsha Fraser, kept coming to his house to talk to him. She was a
persistent and determined woman. When Sandile was 16 years old she convinced him to give his life to God. He
quit using drugs and alcohol as well as stopping his criminal ways.
Some of his former friends mocked him. Some even physically threatened him but he persevered in his
commitment to God.
When Sandile was 18 he confronted his parents. He pleaded with them to stop their fighting. His efforts paid
dividends as his parents’ relationship improved.
A Purpose in Life
When Sandile was 19 he attended a
WCA Leadership course. Through this
course he realized that God loves him and
has a purpose for his life. He has been
with WCA ever since.
Sandile wants to “pay if forward.” He
says, “I want to give back to my
In 2005 Sandile attended the Youth
With A Mission’s Discipleship Training
School in Belfast, Northern Ireland for six
months. Last year Sandile completed a
Diploma in Community Development. He
is eager to help high school students break
the cycle of poverty, crime, drug abuse,
alcohol abuse, and HIV infection that is
rampant in so many suburbs of Durban.
But life still has its challenges. His
Sandile Teaching High School Students at their School parents no longer work. His mother
suffers disability and depends on medicine to ease her constant pain. His father’s business failed. Sandile
contributes about US$75 per month toward his parents’ upkeep. There is pressure for Sandile to secure a higher
paying job to support his parents.
A Treasured Asset
Sandile has been a rock at WCA. We appreciate his eagerness to learn and teach, his leadership, his sense of
humor, and his example of a life lived with purpose. Thank you Sandile.
Current Needs – We currently have many needs, but I’ll highlight just a few.
1. Monthly support – We currently expect to get about R5000 – R10000 (+/- $1000) per month less than
what we need to run our day to work. Random donations often make up for this shortfall, but this
uncertainty creates challenges and from time to time puts us under great financial strain. We’d actually
like to increase our monthly expenses by about R19 000, so that we can pay our staff better and also to
be able to provide a higher quality service (with better food, stationary, etc.).
2. Money for more renovation and centre expansion projects
3. Volunteers (in many areas, but particularly people with construction related skills
4. Equipment for our centre (especially a digital projector, white boards, beds, furniture, dishes, bedding)
5. Prayers - For the effectiveness of our work, for our staff and for our resources
For more details about our needs, budgets and income/expenses see our website at www.wca-