Success Stories


Born and raised in Reiger Park, Boksburg, 21 year old Simone Williams was awarded a place on a German Exchange Student Programme.  The programme is called “Fundisanani Project” a Zulu word which means “Teach one Another”.   

This is a German/South African initiative run by The Thabiso Skills Institute of the Catholic Institute of Education.  The Thabiso Skills Institute is a value-adding skills development support agency for faith based skills development centres.  Applicants were chosen from a list of 15 candidates from eight skills development centres.  The objective of the exchange is for the chosen candidate to return to South Africa and to immediately make use of this new knowledge by getting involved in a community activity or increase their chance of getting employed.

Simone will be travelling to a Germany to a Skills village called Herzogsagmuhle which is 80 kilometers south west of Munich.  She will be accommodated for a month by a volunteer host family.  Here she will show fellow students what she has learned as well as learn from others on the programme.  Simone will bring back this information and pass it on to others in the community of Reiger Park.

Simone did a six month Plumbing course at St Anthony’s Education Centre in 2012.  She was awarded a bursary to pay for her course and St Anthony’s arranged a three month internship programme for her.  She is currently doing a second internship in Parklands Estate in Boksburg.

While Simone was at school she participated in the Reading with Understanding programme facilitated in Grades 8 and 9 at Reiger Park Secondary School.  Once Simone was promoted to Grade 10, she volunteered on the Legends Programme – a leadership programme for Grade 10 to 12 learners.  These Legends teams, consisting of learners from Reiger Park Secondary School assisted with the “roll-out” of the Reading with Understanding programme for Grade 8 and 9’s on a Wednesday morning.

Simone was part of various Legend teams over an extended period of time – willingly assisting learners, like herself, with different aspects of the Reading with Understanding programme.

Simone proved to be a valuable team member to the Cynergy Foundation family, always ready to encourage and assist those experiencing similar situations which she herself had to overcome or adapt to.

She is currently active in her church, the New Apostolic Church.

Says Simone:  “I have always wanted to be a Plumber.  I grew up in Reiger Park where drugs, gangsterism and teenage pregnancy is common.  I am determined not to fall into this lifestyle.  St Anthony’s has given me a way out and I am very grateful to them.  I am going to follow my passion and go all the way.  I will not stop until I get there”.

Simone lives with her mother who is blind and her brother.


On Wednesday, 2 December, the graduation ceremony for 19 automotive repair and maintenance technicians took place at St Anthony’s Education Centre in Reiger Park, Boksburg.  The event was attended by the Wayne Adams COO of merSETA, Raymond Patel CEO of the merSETA, Wendy Matai manager of the dealer training academy at Mercedes-Benz SA  as well as various staff members from  Mercedes-Benz SA.

In 2012 St Anthony’s, Mercedes-Benz SA and the merSETA joined forces to implement a three year learnership programme for 24 learners.   It was an historic moment for St Anthony’s because it was the first time a learnership was offered at the Centre.  The students were divided into two groups.  While group 1 was doing theory at the Centre, Group 2 was at the Mercedes-Benz SA dealerships getting workplace experience.

Unfortunately five learners dropped out due to social issues and problems associated with living in disadvantaged communities.  All  19 students did their trade tests at AA Technical College Midrand Campus  and are now fully qualified artisans.

The learnership represents a major step forward in St Anthony’s efforts to offer quality training that equips learners with the knowledge and skills needed to secure decent formal employed as opposed to the precarious informal employment market that has been the fate of many learners in the past.   

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