• Octavia Makgati

Kabelo Talana

Updated: Jul 23, 2020

Kabelo Talana is using education as a weapon to fight inequality, poverty, and a catalyst of change in the underserved community, He is an engineering student at Vaal University, a humanitarian and a tutor at Bophelong Tutorial Program (BTP). He was born and bred in Lebowakgomo, a small township in Limpopo province, raised by a single mother, and firstborn child of 4 siblings.

Moving to the big city to further his post-matric studies, he was disheartened to see a significant number of people living on the street and begging for food. Coming from a family where he was taught to share, he started using his pocket money to feed the homeless people in Vereeniging.

He later joined Bophelong Tutorial Program (BTP) because its mission was aligned to his values, BTP is a registered NPO which aims to advance and advocate for quality education within the less privileged community. Their mission is to serve and inspire the minds of the community through education.

"Education is a key to success, meaning it can turn the world into a better place and allows you to turn your dreams into reality." He said

The NPO also aims to help township learner to develop skills and knowledge to compete with learners from well-resourced schools, the organisation comes as a result of the recognition that there is lack of adequate existing structure to aid young people to achieve the desired mark to enter into the institution of higher education. BTP servers as a support structure to schools around Bophelong community and the surrounding community, they also specialise in helping the learners to apply at the universities and also guiding them through their career of choice.

The inspiration behind the establishment of BTP was after the realization that learners from under-resourced schools are struggling to obtain the skills and knowledge to compete with other learners from the well-resourced school, and they saw a need to bridge the gap through the provision of quality education to ensure that learners from under-resourced school can compete with learners from well-resourced school and also to build a better country.

Since the formation of the organization by first-year students in 2009, it has attracted 23 like-minded students who are willing to serve and be part of the life changers. The enthusiastic students work on Saturdays and holidays, they cater for all the grades and all the subjects. All appointed tutors go through screening and they have to meet certain minimum criteria.

The students took the initiative without any sponsorship and they sometimes struggle with the cost of transporting the tutors to the identified schools.

The COVID19 has also cost a decrease in the number of learners, usually, they mentor approximately 150 learners a year.

The passionate young man is working hard on his goal to complete his engineering qualification and to also continue impacting the lives of the underprivileged.

“I want to see everyone having the right knowledge and our fellow learners being able to go to the university of their choice and following the career of their choice and not what there are forced to do." He said.

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