Be the Mentor is an SAB initiative that encourages young adults to help teens make positive life choices, including staying away from alcohol and other toxic situations. These are ordinary men and women, who have taken the pledge and strive together to be role models in their community and inspire a positive movement. Here are two of our inspiring mentors, now Local Area Managers, who are driving change in Kwa-Zulu Natal.
Sbusiso allows his light to shine bright when mentoring the youth in his community. This is one of the main reasons why he decided to become an SAB Be the Mentor Local Area Manager.
Before taking on this responsibility, Sbusiso has looked to his family. “My first mentee is my younger sister. I’m a very firm believer that charity begins at home, so before I could shine outside, I had to first light up inside.” Being a mentor has taught Sbusiso to be more understanding, “It has opened me up to things I did not understand about myself. I have also learnt to listen objectively and to always understand that my input may very well factor greatly into the development or destruction of others. In addition, I am now more open and reflective of every situation.” Sbusiso acknowledged that the youth face a myriad of social ills like underage drinking and he believes that if they are provided with the right role models they will be motivated to reach their dreams. “Through extra-curricular activities and exploring their talents and by providing a platform to pursue their talents, we can motivate them to make the right life decisions so they can achieve their hopes and dreams.”
GET TO KNOW PHELELANI
Having a passion for helping others and believing in the SAB 18+ initiative, Phelelani Mchunu was inspired to become a mentor in the hopes of guiding young individuals like himself.
As a child Phelelani’s mentor was his father, who “helped guide me through life decisions and offered support when I needed it”.
Growing up in the township of Umlazi, Phelelani saw how the youth were more inclined towards “underage drinking than encouraging activities such as sport due to a lack of resources”. This influenced him to want “to make a difference within (his) community.”
Phelelani chose to mentor his younger brother so that he could “guide him through life experiences.”
Phelelani finds that many kids from the township do not have a father figure at home or any positive activities to keep them busy such as sports, so instead resort to consumption of alcohol. “I am pleased by my mentee who now has a better understanding of the dangers of alcohol abuse and about life in general. I can see he has a better approach to handling situations and people.”
Phelelani wishes to see his mentee successful in every aspect of life and for all youth to “Be the change, stand out, do something and then become the best at it.”
BE A PART OF THE CHANGE
SAB believes everyone can be part of the change. The 18+ Be the Mentor campaign is about starting a movement which calls on everyone over the age of 18 in South Africa to take that first step and become a mentor – ‘Be Part of the Change’.
South Africans can be part of the campaign and make a difference to someone else’s life by pledging to be a mentor at www.bethementor.sab.co.za.