My name is Avela Magagasi and I am the founder of Avela Academy and Sports Entertainment.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, I wanted to help the parents that are not able to help their kids with their homework. When my daughter came home with a lot of homework, I thought of other children who don’t have anyone to help them. I started to approach neighbours and asked if they are getting help or need support. From then on, I asked their kids to come to my place. Since I was having a community kitchen with Vrygrond United 4 Change (VU4C), we did the homework with the kids right after their meal at my kitchen.
Most of the kids that I help are also part of the netball team that I started in 2012. I started this netball team to create a safe space for girls. I wanted them to have someone to speak to. And the reason is because when I was 14 years old, I was forced to marry a 36-year-old guy. Whenever I had someone to speak to, there was no one around me. That’s why I wanted the girls in my community to have someone that they can share anything with.
Avela was a youth leader in the COVID-19 response initiative. Find out more about her involvement at VU4C the video by Paul Weinberg and Stephen Schmidt (photo credit: Isabel Corthier).
Some of the kids that joined the after school programme and the netball activities are now helping other kids with their school work.
There were parents who were sure that their child was a slow learner. They were going to send her to the school of skills. However, I am proud to say that I convinced them to give their child a chance and join the Avela Academy. Now, their child is doing incredibly well with good marks at school.
Whenever I am on Facebook, I am reading about other women’s initiatives and opportunities. Last year, I found an opportunity to join business training for women entrepreneurs. It reminded me of the entrepreneurial programme we did at False Bay College through Amava Oluntu. Whilst the training in 2020 was quite short, I wanted to use this opportunity to grow and learn more about business development.
Avela focuses on her business development and enjoys every learning opportunity. Here, she is at Amava Oluntu with business mentor, Dave Romero.
The training was called Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) South Africa and was funded by the US Embassy South Africa and the Africa Women Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum. It included 13 modules around business development. Of the 42 women, 23 finished the programme and I was one of them.
I also joined the Business Bootcamp of the Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative and am graduating on the 23rd of November in Lavender Hill.
More about Avela Academy:
Avela Academy bridges the gap with an afterschool between parents who have no education and no time, versus their children who now have full access to equal education. We are helping primary school learners with their school work. As we understand that some of the parents are uneducated and some are working very hard they really do not have time to help their children.
We have tutors, facilitators and internet access for them to do their school work, and the problem is solved. All parents do wish a bright future for their children and Education is a key component of sustainable development.
Each and every term we are achieving because our leaners are passing with good marks. Our target is Grade 4, 5, 6, & 7, and for those who are doing grade 7 we also apply for grade 8 since we know that parents are struggling with the new system of applying online. Our address is No. 44 Vuyo road Capricorn, times from 9:00-17:00. We are operating from Monday to Friday; although Friday is our sports day. We are unique because we are using sports as a therapy, healthy bodies, and healthy minds.