Edwill Mabie is a true ambassador for the Born in Africa programme.
Looking at Edwill’s somewhat gloomy history, one can only praise him for his success at this stage of his life.
Edwill was one of the first children we took into the programme in 2002 when he was only eight years old. At that stage he was in Gr 3 at The Crags Primary school and living with his aunt and seven relatives. Both of his parents passed away when he was very young and he never had the opportunity to get to know them.
At school Edwill battled academically and was teased as a young boy by his peers. At home things were not ideal either with various social issues such as alcohol abuse and poverty which dominated his household. We noticed Edwill starting to fade into the background during group sessions and worked with him intensely to rectify these problems. He really enjoyed attending the Born in Africa camps where a lot of healing took place. He loved his mentors and the group sessions and attended all the holiday programmes as well. His eyes truly shined during the Fire Fighting project where he was given “fire fighter” responsibilities. When he turned fourteen we enrolled him in Olympia skills school in George. This was done on the recommendation of the school psychologist who suggested that Edwill focus on “hands on education”. Every Sunday Edwill got a lift to Plettenberg Bay where he would catch the school bus to George and make the return trip on a Friday after school.
At Olympia Edwill was granted the opportunity to learn about numerous careers such as tiling, bricklaying, auto mechanics and carpentry. Born in Africa supported his school career financially as well as extra mentoring. He specialised in Agriculture which he loved and truly has a talent for. He applied for a fourth year at the school where he focused on agriculture and during this year he blossomed in such a way that he decided to make farming his career.
He completed his studies in December 2011. Sheer determination, his skills and his love for animals were on his side and we are happy to report that Edwill is now employed at an organically run dairy farm in picturesque Geelhoutboom at the foot of the Outeniqua hills (George).
He works for a salary, lives on the farm and is part of a team of twelve staff who oversee the organic dairy farm ensuring the well being of 500 cows, overseeing the milking process and all of the logistics which go hand in hand with farming.
Edwill is a role model to the young Born in Africa children and his former school teachers still talk about his wonderful nature, his honesty and eagerness to work. We at Born in Africa look at Edwill and where he came from and what he has achieved and we can only learn from such a remarkable young man.