Usiko Stellenbosch

Left: Natasha Boks, presented a session on leadership and Right: Camilla Friend presented a session on basic counselling skills.

It was a great privilege compiling and presenting the 2018 Mentors Training for Usiko. I have learnt a lot from the organisation’s leadership and its mentors and I am impressed by the great work that they are doing in the communities they serve.

I have also had the honour of writing a blog on one of their volunteers, Aunty Anna. Hope you will be as inspired by her story as I was.


Bianca, Arnold (Project Director) and Imanuella (Project Manager)

Imanuella Muller
Usiko Programme Manager

After attending a workshop hosted by the Sustainable Development Network, where Bianca was presenting on volunteer management, our Usiko director reached out to Bianca when the need arose for us to train a new group of volunteers at our NPO. This group would be serving as mentors to participants in our programmes on a voluntary basis. From the beginning it was clear that Bianca has a deep passion for the work that she does. After expressing our needs to Bianca, she put together a programme for us with which we were very satisfied. She immersed herself in the Usiko culture as much as she could in order to get a clearer picture of the work that we do. This fostered strong connections with not only the organisation but also with the volunteers that she would be training.

She participated in the mentor wilderness experience with this group and completed one of Usiko’s very important rites of passage. The training itself was a memorable and enjoyable experience for our new mentor group. They learnt new skills and were challenged to stretch themselves and their perspectives regarding volunteering and mentoring. Bianca’s expertise combined with her unique presence and personality made for a very effective and successful mentor training programme. We feel confident that we are now sending out fully equipped mentors into our programmes to work with the Usiko youth participants. Bianca herself will be joining us on one of our upcoming camps as a volunteer and we look forward to continuing this relationship. Thank you Bianca for serving Usiko’s vision and living out your wilderness name; the honey-giving, stinging bee!
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