Ana helps young minds to thrive

Ana Capango

Ana Capango, 20, came to South Africa seven years ago, leaving her family behind in Angola.

Her dad works in the agriculture sector, her mum in a restaurant and she has two brothers aged 4 and 7.

Her parents sent Ana to South Africa for a better education. She lives with her aunt and one of her brothers in Westlake.

Ana matriculated last year and has taken a gap year until she can save to further her education.

She wants to study chemical engineering or biotechnology with an interest in agriculture or food.

Meanwhile, she is working and volunteering for Orphan Care Foundation Literacy group and its Kids Club, which meets weekly in the Drill Hall in Westlake.

She helps Grade 1 to 3 children from the Westlake community with numeracy and literacy. “They even visit me at home. I give them a time and a day when they can come and I help them with homework. At first it was challenging. When they came they were scared but now, in term two, they are listening and I can see they’re improving,” said Ana.

She says most children have spelling problems so she does reading with them, making it fun, using donated books with interesting stories.

“I tell them that without reading they can go nowhere,” she said.

“When I grew up I didn’t have a big brother or sister. And when I came to South Africa I didn’t know the language. I think if I’d had a bigger brother or sister I could have done better. I was disappointed with my matric results. I had to work hard on my own.

“Now I want to be that person to support these children. Many parents are not active with the kids,” she said.

Ana is trying to find a bursary but this is difficult because her results were not good and she is a foreign national.

“I miss home. Parts of Angola are beautiful but I’ve noticed how it has changed in the seven years I’ve been away. I’ve also seen that there are more free public parks,(here) places to have fun. We don’t have that in Angola,” said Ana.

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