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our highlights

Here are some of the highlights in the history of Nemato Change a Life.

Chicago robotics

After two years of robotics lessons on Zoom by the Chicago Knights, five of our members travelled all the way to Chicago to participate in a robotics competition. They competed as the "One Team Two Continents" robotics team. It was a project by the Global Leading Light Initiatives.

robotics competition in Chicago

self-managing team

We replaced our manager with a self-managing team, in order to empower our members by giving them ownership and responsibility for our organisation.

self managing team


UNICEF accepted Nemato Change a Life into their Sport4Development programme. Odwa and Thando were trained in Durban to offer the sports-based life skills activities for our members.

UNICEF life skills

new Quantum

Unfortunately, one of our Quantums was hijacked in Gauteng. However, thanks to the incredible generosity of Alexander van Assendelft, we were able to replace it and upgrade to this latest model Quantum.

new Quantum

tanks coding

Coding became a crucial element of our programme with the introduction of the Tanks coding programme by Nelson Mandela University.

Tanks coding lessons


We have begun offering holiday retreats to assist our members in coping with issues such as trauma and stress, gender-based violence, and anger.


lockdown food parcels

During the Covid lockdown, Lunga and Ashley were on the road every day with our two Quantums to help the community with emergency food parcels.

lockdown food parcels


We built a small greenhouse at our centre to pilot projects such as fly farming, fish farming, and herb gardening. All of these projects aim to give our members skills to generate income.

building a greenhouse

Germany exchange

Lifa was accepted for an exchange programme with Germany and spent a year volunteering in Göttingen, here with his German handball team.

Lifa in Germany

second Quantum

The Mike Thomson Change a Life Trust gave us a second Quantum, to cope with our growing number of activities and trips.

two Quantums

opening Nemato Change a Life Centre

The basic construction of the MNemato Change a Life Centre is completed and we started using the centre. There is still a lot of work to finish everything, most of which will be done by our members.

Nemato Change a Life Centre in use

solar power

Thanks to many generous donations we were able to get a solar power system installed for free, clean and load-shedding-proof electricity.

solar power on the Nemato Change a Life Centre

ECD Association Ndlambe East

After we established the Early Childhood Development (ECD) Association Ndlambe East a year before, the first Level 2 course was held for free in Port Alfred for township preschool teachers. Nontsebenzo won the ECD Practitioner of the Year Award during the graduation ceremony.

Nontsebenzo won ECD Practitioner of the Year Award at Level 2 graduation

start Nemato Change a Life Centre

We started building the Nemato Change a Life Centre, using sandbag technology. The centre is build for us by the Mike Thomson Change a Life Trust.

start of the Nemato Change a Life Centre

own transport

With the generous support of the Mike Thomson Change a Life Trust and Alexander van Assendelft this Quantum was make available to us, a real game changer for our organisation.

own transport for Nemato Change a Life

first Laureus YES graduation

Lunga was our first member to graduate for the Laureus Youth Empowerment through Sport (YES) programme. The graduation took place at the Mercedes-Benz South Africa head office in Johannesburg.

Lunga graduated for the Laureus YES course

Change a Life as main funder

The Mike Thomson Change a Life Trust came on board as our main funder and we changed our name to Nemato Change a Life. An impressive presentation by our beneficiary Athenkosi convinced the trust. In the picture he graduated on a rowing bursary at the University of Johannesburg.


first Gold President's Award

Ashley Backward is the first Nemato Change a Life member to receive the Gold President's Award. In a very special event in Cape Town, the award was handed over to him by President Zuma and the Earl and Countess of Wessex from England.

be a hard worker

first lessons

At Nemato Rowing Club we experiencing the many challenges of our disadvantaged township youth. We started our youth empowerment programme, with lessons in English and mathematics.

our first lessons

Nemato Sports Federation

We established Nemato Gymnastics Club and formed Nemato Sports Federation as umbrella organisation to run our youth empowerment programme. The RDP house on the Matinyana family's erf was extended for us to run our office and classes.

be fit

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