Newfound Hope and Vision
How City Mission helped one young woman find hope and vision for her life
“I have faced many challenges,” says Lazola Hoya as she describes some of what she has endured, from her upbringing in King Wiliams Town in a home hard hit by unemployment, to her new season in Khayelitsha as a young adult seeking work and opportunity. “Being alone in Cape Town, especially living on my own after my aunt left the city, was very difficult at times,” she says. “Things are looking better now, though.” She believes that City Mission is largely responsible for a little more hope and light in her life.
“We were told there was a place called City Mission, from the community, and they said that good things come from there; we were a group of people who decided to go together,” she explains, “At first I was a broken soul when I was there, but as time went by, and we shared our things, I started healing.”
Lazola has been hit by many challenges and struggles in her 30-year lifetime – too many for such a young life. Poverty and injustice, abandonment, a hit-and-run accident that set her back years, and more, led to her losing motivation for her future. As hope faded and struggles heightened, Lazola turned to alcohol, like many of her peers struggling with unemployment, trauma, poverty, and pain. “The more stress, the more I drank,” she says. But that is not the case anymore as she finds different ways to handle the many challenges she faces. “Before I went to City Mission I had never read my Bible or prayed,” says Lazola, “My relationship with God started from there. But now when I have a problem, I go down onto my knees to ask God for help; I ask God to give me strength.”
Blondy Williams, City Mission fieldworker who walks alongside vulnerable women and leads various projects, has been like a mother to Lazola during this past year. She took the group of ladies through the Life Plan process, as well as being on the other end of the phone for wisdom and counsel.
Lazola has more vision now, and it was during the Life Plan course that she realised she is, by nature, an entrepreneur, and doing people’s hair is a business she wants to focus on. “Life Plan helped me a lot; I now have vision – I did not know if I was going forward or backwards, but now I know what I want and that has helped me a lot,” she says. “I enjoy doing hair; people hear about me, bring their products to me and I do it, especially during December when it is very busy.” Her goal is to get a container and start a salon in the future.
The computer course, led by Hani Kilimani, was also a great source of accomplishment, skills development and enjoyment for Lazola. “I now know the basics of computers, which is so helpful.” Knowing there is a community that ‘has her back’, is cheering her on, and is a safe place, has helped Lazola through this last season and prepared her for the next one.
“Even when things are tough, I know I can go to City Mission if I need to. I am thankful.”