Delicia Williams says she wants to attract youth to her gang.
Ms Williams studied theology and was ordained as a pastor on Sunday July 2. She also did courses on substance abuse, skills development, mentoring and coaching.
“I want to change the status quo of gangsterism by starting a different kind of ‘gang’, called family. A place of belonging because that’s what family is,” Ms Williams said.
Ms Williams, of Northpine, does this by working with youth at schools through the NPO which she started with her two eldest sons, Shadrach van Wyk and Caleb Howard.
Ms Williams goes into schools where she works one-on-one with pupils. She also runs workshops for parents and women and in September, Ambassadors for Change will be opening Hephzibah House, a rehabilitation halfway house.
“I want to bring back that ubuntu and create a society where we are uplifting each other,” Ms Williams said.
Predominantly though, the NGO works at Scottsdene High School in a mentorship programme called Move to Excellence.
“I spend time with the learners, motivate them and connect them to people who can help them. I create a support structure outside the home.”
Ms Williams also uses her networking skills to source opportunities for pupils, such as bursaries, job shadowing opportunities, apprenticeships, etc.
“Most of the children come from broken homes with parents that are in drug abuse or gangsterism and they want to have something different. Some of the children are struggling.
“The purpose of the programme is to instil hope, to take away that hopelessness from our children because does everyone have to become a gangster? No. But if you feel like you don’t have another option, you will become that.
“It is a mentorship programme to raise them from the ashes and give them a little bit of hope.”
But what do the pupils say about the programme?
Scottsdene High School Grade 12 pupil Sinethemba Ntshweza credits Ms Williams as helping some of the pupils to improve the aggregate to 84% – and he called her a “goat”.
“She is a very kind person. She is always motivating and supporting us. She is an amazing woman. She is a GOAT – the greatest of all time,” he said.