Hero of the Week: Kim Worrall

Kim Worrall, founder of Amoyo Performing Arts Foundation

In 2015 Kim Worrall decided to effect change in the lives of the leaders of tomorrow in Imizamo Yethu’s community by establishing the performing arts foundation known as Amoyo.

Kim came to South Africa in 1996, and was driven to create better living standards for the children and women of the community of Imizamo Yethu. Raised in the suburbs of England by a mother who was a big volunteer in her community, Kim was taught the importance of lending a hand at a very young age.

As a result Kim’s first instinct when she arrived to the country was to help those who needed it most. She offered mentorship and guidance for families who lacked the skills and tools to do so themselves at the Victims Support Centre in Hout Bay.

“When I came to South Africa in 1996, my immediate action was to mentor children that I came into contact with who hadn’t been given the opportunities that I have,” she said.

The children of Amoyo

Later in her journey she was approached to establish an organization that would directly impact the lives of the youth through dance, music and drama. Amoyo, which means “spirit of appreciation”, was then established. Through this Kim understood that there was pressure from all angles to make a lasting impact on the lives of the youth. She needed to show them the bigger picture within a small township setting.

Through positive engagement she worked to make a lasting impact on the lives of the young children she sees five days a week. They go through a very structured and well-organized round of activities that not only keeps their bodies active but their minds too. Kim needed to ensure the children were being molded into those who will become “somebodies” in life that can and will create change in their communities. She became their pillar and motivation when they need it the most.

“The more you engage with children and keep them occupied after school, the smaller the chance of them engaging with the negative influences,” she said.

Her background in speech and drama has helped create an environment where the children could express how they feel in words and action.  She makes it clear that she has not been able to achieve such great success on her own. She credits her success to the help of co-founders Mandisa Qwesha and Nandipha Sandlala, who both play an active role in the activities the children participate in on a daily basis.

“In drama to create confidence we love to take the mind through imagination exercises. We create fantasy. The world is your limit,” she said

For Kim, the goal is to show the children that they can aim for greater things in life, they just need the opportunity to do so. She believes all they need is to just believe in themselves and be made aware of the opportunities ahead of them. It is about who the children want to be in life and if they are willing to put in the work to be that person, she is just there to lend a hand.