It is with a tremendous sense of gratitude that I write to you, friend, as the new chief “serving” officer at Rays of Hope. It’s an organisation that has made a huge impact on the Alexandra community (the very community I was raised in) over its 32 years of existence, and I take my role and responsibilities, the part I have to play in continuing and growing the organisation’s success, very seriously.

In fact, in no other role I’ve held in my career have I felt this level of responsibility, pride and honour. Having run my own management consulting and training firm, I can say with certainty that leading an organisation like Rays of Hope is vastly different to the corporate realm. The focus is no longer on the bottom line but rather on the impact on lives, which means I can only judge how effective I am as a leader by the growth and development of, and the eventual impact made by, the people I lead.

My arrival coincides with Rays of Hope embracing a new strategic direction that looks more holistically at each child from a learning and development, family care, and social services related perspective. It’s a more proactive way to circumvent and address issues that plague the community – poverty, gender-based violence, teen pregnancy, child-led households and more – by putting programmes in place that help children become more well-rounded human beings. This includes workshops and support groups for the parents of our young people to encourage nurturing healthier home environments.

You can also help by getting involved in our Sponsor a Child pledge in your capacity as a business or as individuals – a great way to raise the money needed for each child is to recruit a group of friends and colleagues who can each contribute towards a bigger goal. Five people donating R200 each, every month gives an Alex child R12,000 a year – enough to ensure that the whole child’s needs are met, and that they are set up for a big and bright future ahead.

The initiatives and interventions are incredibly valuable in Alex, and my goal as a leader is to ensure that we are giving our all in fostering a culture of trust, caring, diversity of thought and valuing people, that serves my organisation, staff and the community of Alexandra.

Creating a prosperous South Africa and Africa that can stand their ground as a global influencer starts with growing future leaders who can ultimately contribute meaningfully. My door is always open to leaders, businesses and individuals looking to partner with us to make good on our promise of bringing lasting change to the residents of Alexandra.

Looking forward to connecting with you in the future, and helping to build a bright, fulfilling future for the people we serve.

Warmly,

Muziwethu Zwane

Rays of Hope CEO