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Its all good when you have good neighbors . 2015

In the year 2015 Phoenix High students received good news that the school will be having an exchange program with our partner school Kreisgymnasium in Heinsberg Germany. I was extremely excited about the good news and contacted my friends in Germany that are part of the program and informed my family about the amazing opportunity. I thought that this would be a dream come true to go to Germany and see my friends again. I knew getting to achieve this goal would be challenging for me and there would be obstacles along the way.

My family wasn’t financially stable to help me reach this goal, growing up with a big family and having a single mother that’s the only bread-winner, I knew it wouldn’t be possible for my mother to help me with funds only to travel to Germany for two weeks, but through this obstacles I encouraged myself to do better and think of options to make it happen for me. I then spoke to people in my area and told them about my story and goal to get this opportunity that I want to go to Germany, I want to be in a different country, expand my horizon and experience a whole different culture. One day I spoke to my neighbor – Mrs Nacerodien – about the opportunity and she responded in excitement and encouraged me to go for it and promised to help me make my dream possible – my heart melted of joy and excitement.

I thought of action plans that will bring me closer to achieve my goal, I then wrote motivation letters to successful companies and small businesses in my area and in the CBD in Cape Town. I spoke to CEOs and managers to sponsor me with funds to make Germany happen for me. Every day after school I walked in my uniform and pitched at business companies to help me. I was sponsored by the Engen Garage in my street and other small owned business. A few weeks close to when we had to gather all our funds, visa applications and other documents I received more great news.

My neighbors’ ex husband worked for the City of Cape Town and had asked me to write a motivation letter. He also wrote a letter to the Mayor, that one of her employees needs help from the City to help me. The mayor – Patricia de Lille – accepted his request and contacted my neighbor and my principal Mr. Abrahams with the great news that she will fund my trip to Germany and help with any other costs that have to be covered! That was music to my ears and a life changer. I felt blessed and happy. I still feel so happy and grateful to this day to get blessings that I received to make my dream come true and to this day I speak about it. This is extremely special to me and to my mother. I remember how much joy my mother had in her eyes and how she smiled. It’s an achievement I will never forget and a story that I will never get tired of telling, it was my dream and it came true.

The experience was unbelievable, I’m proud of myself that I made my dream come true and I’m grateful to everyone that contributed to everything that they did for me. I’m grateful to this day for all the wonderful people in my life and friendships that grow from the partnership. I’m grateful for my mother, Mrs. Nacerodien, my sponsors, my teachers and my host families.

Genevieve George

Hello, Mholweni, Hallo!

I’m from South Africa Cape Town and I’m 24 years old. I first got involved with the Cape Town-Aachen Partnership in 2014 through the school-exchange of Kreisgymnasium Heinsberg with my school, Phoenix High in Manenberg. Throughout my schooling I have been an active student that has been involved in numerous activities, whether it be educational or outdoor activities I would always grasp to opportunities. I have been a peer educator for Life Choices to being a motivational speaker for Dream Factory Foundation. Dream Factory Foundation has paved ground for me to achieve in many aspects in life. They have nurtured me to become the best version of myself: through Dream Factory Foundation, I learnt how to code and become an entrepreneur, sponsored by Google. I’m part of the SAAN Alumni and SAGE Net Volunteer, I recently came back from Germany after one year volunteer service. I have been abroad working in a Kindergarten working with kids age 1- 6 years old, my duties was mainly to speak English to the kids and to experience cultural exchange. I adapt easily to different environments.

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived, it is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

Nelson Mandela