Ricochet News

Port Elizabeth student Onathi Stuurman defies the odds to give hope to others

Oct 2, 2018
Port Elizabeth student Onathi Stuurman defies the odds to give hope to others

The Eastern Province Child and Youth Care Centre, a beneficiary of KFC national feeding scheme Add Hope, is one of the oldest residential children’s homes in South Africa.

Seventeen-year-old,Onathi Stuurman is their latest success story as last year, he was chosen to visit Germany to represent Lawson Brown School in a student exchange programme.

Onathi and his brother moved into the EP Children’s Home in 2008 after their primary caregiver passed away. The home provides more than just shelter – its staff are involved in providing educational, therapeutic and developmental programmes designed to help the children achieve their full potential.

As a direct result of this support of the home, Onathi excelled academically at school, did well in soccer and was selected to participate in a student exchange trip to Germany.

“Add Hope has ensured that the children living in the home have nutritious and balanced meals every day. Thanks to this generous support, our children grow up healthy and strong,” said Terry Hattingh, Director, The Eastern Province Children’s Homes. 

Port Elizabeth student defies the odds to give hope to others

Onathi’s hard work throughout high school is reflected in his consistently positive reports from teachers. He was chosen as a prefect this year, further proof that he is thriving at school.

As the first person in his family to travel overseas, Onathi had this to say about the trip: “It makes me want to see even more of the world, I believe that even if I am in a children's home, that will not stop me from being who I want to be in life.”

“My trip to Germany was full of new discoveries, such as how German students use interactive whiteboards to learn in class,” says Onathi.

“I also got to experience history first hand by visiting Checkpoint Charlie Museum in Berlin, Bundestag Parliament, a concentration camp as well as the Holocaust Memorial. In between this experience, there was time for fun.

One of Onathi’s dreams as a soccer fan has been to see Bayern Munich playing live and a sponsor organised VIP tickets for him to witness this sold-out game.

“It was really a dream come true! I got to sit in a box and got to meet two of my soccer idols in person!”

Onathi originally planned to go into business as an entrepreneur, but after taking his first flight, he is contemplating being a pilot. It is clear that the German trip has had a profound effect on him.

“Now that I have seen things outside South Africa, I believe that we can improve our country if every individual starts to inspire and change the world around them,” said Onathi.

“It is our hope that through the continued support of the community we can provide quality care to many more children from the Eastern Cape,” said Thabisa Mkhwanazi, KFC Africa Corporate Affairs Director.

“This way we can allow for more children to have an opportunity to achieve their dreams, just like Onathi has.”

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