at Coach Thomas Youth Development we are all volunteering for the greater good, the kids we believe in, the future of Masiphumele. I am proud to be a part of it. My name is Ole Andresen and I am 22 years old. I live in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. In 2018 I finished my A-levels and had no clue what to do with my newfound freedom. So, I left home and spent a gap year in South Africa. I was volunteering for a pre-and primary school, the Bhongolethu Foundation. There I met Mathandazo Ndabeni (Thomas) who soon became not only my coach but also a friend.
Just a week before Christmas 2018, Jul and I were about to spend Christmas alone with no family around. Some volunteers had visitors over from home, but the two of us did not. When Coach Thomas asked about our plans, we told him it would be just the two of us. He said: “Guys, why don’t you take your Caracara and come join me and my brother Terra (below on the left hand side, followed up by Jul me and Coach) to spend Christmas with my family.” For better understanding, the “Caracara” was the slang word for the VW model T3 which was the car I and the other volunteers used to drive around Cape Town. Who does not know a car this iconic, I will cut it short: It can be very complicated, frustrating, and tiring traveling long distances in the South African sun. But this is another story.
For me, Coach Thomas had done something I would not have expected from anyone. Inviting some foreigners to your family on Christmas – unthinkable. But that’s the kind of person he is. And he did so much more during the best year of my life, he invited me into his culture, the Xhosa culture.
Back in Germany, I have been thinking about how I could support CTYD with funds and sponsors. But I never managed to convince people to support Coach Thomas Youth Development regularly. So, it was just a handful of funders who have been former volunteers like me. In October 2020 I started studying political science and educational science and being short on money, as most students are. Thanks to the coronavirus, I had some spare time on my hands. So, I spoke to some people and started to create Coach-T.org. To get to know what we do at CTYD, our legacy, more about surfing and soccer, or how to contact Coach Thomas, engage on our social media channels.
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