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Reuben’s* post-matric ambitions

Reuben* is an 18-year-old determined young man and he will be writing his matric this year. The excitement of finally finishing high school and doing what he loves the most is what keeps Reuben* up and studying for long hours every afternoon after school and every night after dinner.

 

 

 

 

Reuben* has been at SOS Children’s Villages since 2010 and he was only 11 years old when he arrived.  He was previously living in a group home in Orange Farm, South of Johannesburg.

He says that when he arrived at SOS seven years ago he did not like the experience of living in a new environment and it caused him to withdraw and keep to himself for a while.   Reuben* said, “When I was young I liked living in the group home because we were free to do anything, there was no structure or guidance.  I was not used to a structured environment where my day-to-day life is properly guided and led to a certain direction.  Being at SOS is like living with a real parent that constantly guides you and tells you what to do or what not to do for your own good.  Well I appreciate that because look at me now I’m about to finish school and about to pursue my dreams”.  Rueben* mentioned that he missed speaking in his home language which is isiZulu and Sesotho because where he is now he can only speak English with his peers at school and at home, and now he cannot speak a word in his home language.   

He also said that sometimes he misses his original friends from a group home because a number of them that came with him to SOS have now been reintegrated with their families of origin and Rueben* said that he feels even more determined to do his best to pass his matric so that he can also go out there and pursue his long awaited career path. 


Serving in the South African Military is Reuben’s* wish and that is where he is determined to go after passing high school at the end of the year.  His physical preparation to make it for selection in the military is his athletics training.  He runs 400m Track events at his school called Fred Norman High and he has represented his school in several occasions where he did an outstanding job.    He said, “I remember vividly when I started with my athletics career that I ran a 5km road race and I came 8th position overall and that motivated me to do better and from that moment I realised how good it feels to achieve anything in life and from that day onwards I got determined to keep achieving great results at school and on the track.  

 
Reuben* has never met his family of origin nor his mother and father.  He was raised from birth by a lady they referred to as ‘grandmother’ from a group home.  He is now the part of the Presidential Awards programme that provides causes for matric pupils to help them get a kick-start in the corporate world and provide them with relevant skills.  He is currently doing an IT course through this programme and he enjoys learning how the technology world works and he believes that he can use this skill in the military and throughout his life.  “Being in the army is very special to me and I am confident that they will accept me because I study very hard to be top of my class for matric and my physical training is coming along very well, so I have all it takes to be accepted”. 


Reuben* says that in the near future he sees himself as a top ranking military personnel and doing great things for the country. 
SOS Children’s Villages South Africa wishes all leaners who are writing matric this year all the best and may this writing period be free from pressure but full of determination and great ambitions for the future ahead. 


*Names changed to protect the identity of the child
Story compiled by Suri Tsholetsane, SOS Children’s Villages South Africa