Lilian’s Story

Read Lilian's inspiring journey as she navigates challenges and discovers empowerment through the Sozo Foundation's transformative Educentre Programme.


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In 2022, Lilian embarked on a transformative journey by joining the Sozo Foundation’s Educentre Programme. Her high school, situated in a resource-limited environment, posed numerous challenges to students like Lilian. Living in Vrygrond, a marginalized community grappling with community violence, substance abuse, and gangsterism, Lilian knew she needed a positive outlet for her aspirations.

When asked why she chose to be a part of the Sozo Foundation Educentre Programme, Lilian shared, “I joined Sozo to steer clear of the troubles that many teenagers face at my age. I wanted to focus on my schoolwork and receive support with my academics, so I don’t follow in my parents’ footsteps.”

The impact of the programme on Lilian’s life is palpable. With a radiant smile, she exclaimed, “Sozo has allowed me to dream for the future. I am a child of the foster care system, and one day I aspire to become a children’s lawyer to help and protect children in my situation.” Lilian attests that the programme has given her access to counseling services that she wouldn’t have otherwise had access to. She shared, “I could finally open up about my emotions during counseling sessions, something I used to bottle up inside.” Additionally, the programme has equipped her with academic support, a crucial stepping stone towards her dream of becoming the first person in her family to pursue tertiary education.

Notably, Lilian’s self-discovery journey has transformed her from a shy individual to a confident one, and her smile says it all. She remarked, “I can now speak about my problems to someone, a social worker; I don’t have to hide anymore. Someone is here to support me. If I had not come to Sozo, I would have never spoken to anyone about my problems or my situation. I am no longer shy; I have confidence, and I believe in myself.”

When asked about the impact on her home life and schooling journey, Lilian revealed, “My home environment has changed significantly. I can now talk to my ‘Ma’ (foster placement) and even my parents (a bit)…something I never did before. At school, I have the confidence to speak to anyone; in the past, I trusted and spoke to no one.”

What shines through Lilian’s story is her access to invaluable resources at the Sozo Foundation that have profoundly impacted her life. The word “safety” resonates, portraying Sozo as an oasis in a community grappling with its challenges. Her journey serves as a testament to the transformative power of Sozo’s educational initiatives, and we eagerly anticipate witnessing her continued growth and success.

*Name changed to protect minors’ true identity


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