A bright student and talented artist in KwaDabeka, Lindo has always excelled at school. However, this past June Lindo’s life started to fall apart when he developed a serious eye infection that impaired his vision and entire nervous system. As Matric exams neared, Lindo was forced to stay home from school for 2 months because of the infection, which made it nearly impossible to see clearly or stand upright.
Eventually Lindo was able to get the treatment he needed. Soon after, Lindo was paired with a mentor from Westville through CAST’s Youth Development Programme.
A successful businessman from Westville, Rowan Oom came into the mentoring relationship not knowing what to expect. He questioned whether he would connect with Lindo, especially coming from two very different cultures.
However, Lindo opened up to Rowan as the father-figure he never had. And contrary to his assumptions, Lindo learned that Rowan had worked hard to achieve his success.
In the words of Lindo, “I have adopted Rowan’s way of life. I thought I should just get a normal job after school, but now I want to go to university.”
They often meet at the McDonalds in Pinetown with no agenda other than to chat about life. Recently, Rowan gave Lindo homework to research and make a decision between graphic design and architecture, his two study interests. Rowan also invited Lindo to his home so that his son could help Lindo with maths.
Rowan finds that mentoring Lindo is similar to talking with his son.
As Rowan explained, “His needs are no different from anyone else’s. He just needs direction within that. Lindo is not a victim of his hurt; he wants to overcome it. He has a vision of where he wants to go.”
CAST’s Youth Development Programme believes in empowering young people to become productive citizens who make a difference in their community. To achieve this goal, CAST needs older mentors who can guide young men in CAST’s Youth Programme. If you would like to make a difference in the life of one of our guys, please email George at: firstname.lastname@example.org