25-year old Thabiso Chauke is a real go-getter. He is also a giver of gifts as the founder of Two Pairs of Shoes. The NGO puts school shoes on the feet of children who cannot afford to buy their own. “I went to a very good school. So, I thought it was important for me to give back through the Two Pairs of Shoes foundation,” he says.
And the “very good school” Chauke is talking about is UCS. He joined there as a high school learner in 2008 and matriculated in 2010. “If there is one opportunity in my life with which I have been blessed it was to be part of the winning team that is United Church School,” he remarks. “The love, care and compassion of the teachers at the school comes naturally. It is part of the school’s culture.”
While love and nurturing played an extremely important role in Chauke’s school career, it was UCS’s ability to turn the young man into a leader and public speaker that were responsible for him finding success in life. “I developed an interest in politics because of some of the history teachers at United Church School,” Chauke states.
What impressed the diligent high school learner was the way UCS embraced the African continent as a whole, welcoming learners from the various countries in Africa to benefit from a great school experience at UCS. “The teachers helped transform me into a confident, achieving young man. As I continue to serve in the public sector I will forever embrace the discipline of education instilled in me by UCS,” says Chauke. “I will continue to help empower other young minds just as I was empowered by United Church School over the years.”
Chauke didn’t only meet President Zuma, he is also currently working with important government spokespeople, including Mthunzi Mhaga of the Department of Justice and Correctional Services, who has joined hands with Two Pairs of Shoes to get needy students geared up for school.