In every newsletter, we like to share the story of someone whose life has been positively impacted through their relationship with Rays of Hope. Moni Moloantoa is one such person, whose life was turned around for the better thanks to an inspiring partnership with Tutuka, a virtual payment processing company.

Our marketing assistant, Thando Duma, sat down with her to learn more about her story.

How did you find out about Rays of Hope and how has it made an impact in your life?

My husband Michael and I used to live at an orphanage in Alexandra called Lerato Love Home. Although it wasn’t started by Rays of Hope, in 2011 the home was handed over to Rays of Hope to run.

I fell pregnant at 19, having just completed my matric, so was forced to leave the home and Michael, the baby’s father, left with me. One of the Rays of Hope staff members offered us a place to stay until we could find somewhere else. I stayed in contact with the people there and at the same time built a relationship with Bertha who is now the Ithemba Programme Manager and who has mentored me through the years as I raised my baby and had a second one, married Michael and looked for work.

Where did you first hear about the field of Early Childhood Development (ECD)?

I was at my daughter’s parents’ meeting and the school was looking for an ECD teacher for grade R. I was very curious about what it entails so I started asking questions, and that’s how my journey began.

Why did you decide that you wanted to study in that field?

To be honest I love teaching with all my heart and I’m very passionate about children.

What stopped you from studying before?

The obstacles that I was facing was a lack of funding. I applied for so many bursaries and waited for the answer but had no luck.

How did you feel when you found out that Tutuka wanted to sponsor an ECD learnership for you?

I was so happy when I got the call because I had been unemployed for several years at this point and relied on my husband’s salary, which wasn’t much.

What have you learnt this far?

I have learnt that when you are sitting at home and you have a dream, you need to go out and try and make it a reality.

On completion of the learnership, how would use your skills to benefit the Alex community?

I will utilise my skills to build a better educational foundation at the different nursery schools in Alex, because I have realized that there are a lot of things that they do not know. I also have a bigger dream to study Foundation Phase Education at UNISA because this is just the beginning of my dream and I still want to go far with my passion.

What would you like to say to the company that is sponsoring the learnership?

I would like to say thanks very much for believing in me and for helping me to start my dream and for making me realise that it is never too late. My hope is that they are able to help others who would also like to build a brighter future for themselves. I believe other companies can learn a lot from this partnership and could play a bigger role of support in South Africa to help put an end to poverty.