Kholiwe Dyalvane, Class of 2017

“Before I came to ICT I was hopeless. My life was on the verge of collapsing. I wanted to scream and cry for help but no voice came out. I wanted to console myself and think that all is well, but it wasn’t.

One day while in the library, I saw ICT, a nonprofit organisation that was training chefs for free. At that moment my heart was beating so hard I was breathless.  With less than 45 minutes left on the free internet at the library, I wrote all the information. I went home and thought maybe my mind was playing with me. I had less than two weeks to apply so I had no time to lose.

The minute I entered the kitchen I knew this is it. I was welcomed in a friendly manner. I prayed that if only I can be given a chance. The people made us feel welcomed, they were kind, humble and I could see that they were dedicated to what they were doing. I saw positiveness and I felt welcomed and not judged or criticized.

Not only did I receive training but mentally, physically and spiritually I am becoming stronger and stronger.  Even though I am here to be trained as a chef, I have also been taught about life skills so I am getting more than I thought I could get.  From teachers I got family and from family I got brothers and sisters and from that I got mentors.  I couldn’t have asked for more.

Now I see a new me.  Each and every day I feel useful and my passion is back.  I no longer doubt myself. I have a family who will share my success and advise me when I feel confused.  The missing link in my life is getting smaller and smaller and I see things differently.”