The Sizanani Mentorship Programme (“Sizanani”) was launched in 2007 by Laurence Le Blanc from RATP international, the French company which operates the Gautrain. Since then, the programme has been helping high school learners from Alexandra township in Johannesburg to succeed in their studies and gain access to universities through the provision of mentors, career information and bursaries.



Sizanani works in collaboration with St. Mary’s School in Waverley (Johannesburg), which offers extra classes on Saturdays and holidays (Ikusasa Lethu project) to more than 300 Grade 9,10, 11 and 12 learners from Alexandra high schools. Most of the learners are girls. Out of 94 Grade 12s attending Ikusasa Lethu who passed their Matric in 2017, 55 enrolled at universities. 

Mentors play a crucial role by providing mentees with career information, counselling and motivation. In addition, Sizanani hosts speakers to motivate the learners and provide them with career information. Companies and campus visits are also organised, as well as job shadowing and workshops. Sizanani helps Grade 12 learners to enrol at the University of Johannesburg and other tertiary institutions. Funding of university students has also been made available by our sponsors.

In 2018, 117 mentors have been assisting 142 learners. About half of the mentors are South Africans and the rest are primarily from France.



Since 2014, la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles (Belgium) has been the main sponsor of Sizanani, also providing funding to more than 30 students.

The Fondation RATP (France) has been funding our students since 2013. 

The Bombela Operating Company has  awarded bursaries to Sizanani learners since 2015.




"Watching these teenagers develop into adults and knowing that in a little way, I helped them on that journey is heartening." (Emiola Abass, mentor)

"We are like family. I have learnt a lot and experienced a lot.  I’ve seen things that I have never seen before and she helped us to see other people and different cultures." (Siphokazi Dzova, mentee)

“My mentees are certainly my strongest bond to South Africa. This, for sure, has been a great lesson for me: understanding others' perspective and focusing on small but consistent changes instead of big, ideal dreams” (Fernanda Mendoza, mentor)

"It was great to see the relationship grow with the kids; from hardly having anything to speak about in the beginning to sharing ecstatic laughs. " (Vuyisa  Sobayeni , mentor)


Valérie Hirsch

Sizanani Director

Samantha Mutoredzanwa

Sizanani Programme Manager

Monique Adams

Sizanani Chairperson,

Career Wise Director

Yvonne Motsoko

Sizanani Deputy Chairperson, Engineer at Alstom

Linda Giuricich

Director of Community Affairs

St Mary's School

Gregory Knipe

Sizanani Treasurer,

Chief Financial Officer of Gautrain Operator Bombela

Robyn Knowles

Ikusasa Lethu Manager

Marie-Amandine Bhika

Website design



Follow us:

  • LinkedIn Social Icon
  • Instagram
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon

Name *

Email *