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. The Grade 12 class of 2019 consisted of 60 learners, 95% achieved a pass, 63% have received university passes and 32% have received diploma passes. Out of  54 Matriculants, 32 enrolled into Universities and private colleges 

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.

82 mentors (67 % women) have been part of Sizanani in 2020. Among them, 46 % are from South Africa and 45 % are French expatriates. They are looking after 113 mentees (8 Gr 9, 21 Gr 10, 43  Gr 11 and 37 Gr 12). 



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

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

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





"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

Mmapula Mnisi

Sizanani Deputy Chairperson, 

Director and Founder of Peak Health & Wellness Solutions

Linda Giuricich

Director of Community Affairs

St Mary's School

Gregory Knipe

Sizanani Treasurer,

Chief Financial Officer of Gautrain Operator Bombela

Lizzie Mahuma

Sizanani Secretary, Mentor

Robyn Knowles

Ikusasa Lethu Manager

Xolani Mashinini 

Board Member, Mentor

Nicole Bam

Board Member, Mentor 

Yvonne Motsoko

Board Member, Mentor 



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