Humble, caring, undeterred: Ryan’s a true leader

February 2, 2022

Above: A joyful Ryan (centre) and fellow Lalela students celebrate their grade 12 valedictory service at Hout Bay High School late 2021

The circularity of Ryan Lott’s journey with Lalela is one that our entire team celebrates as we welcome him onboard as an intern this year. Remarkably, Ryan, who graduated from school last year, has been in the Lalela programme since its inception in the community of Hangberg in Hout Bay. An alumnus of our Leadership programme, he was elected head of Hout Bay High’s Student Representative Council, and was awarded the school’s prestigious Leadership Award. The world is now Ryan’s to conquer!

Here he shares some highlights from the programme and a glimpse of his future plans…

My name is Ryan Lott. I’m a former learner and student from Hout Bay High School. I’ve passed my matric very well with a Diploma. I would describe myself as a humble, respectful and caring person. A person who always gives his best shot to achieve something in life and who never gives up.

I started at Lalela in 2010, and my journey with (the organisation) through all the years has been nothing but the best. I’ve learnt good leadership skills and how to work as part of a team. The experience I want to share is that no matter what your circumstances are in life, never give up, and always speak highly about yourself that you can and will make it in life.

Above: Ryan, fellow Lalela students and other youths formed a ‘human chain’ to protest gender-based violence, which is prevalent in Hangberg

One of my best experiences at Lalela was when I planned and led a night vigil in my community in honour of those who had lost their lives. I also participated in a human chain against gender-based violence in Hangberg where I rallied my entire school with chants and songs. This was my best experience ever, and I couldn’t have done it without the support from Lalela.

I applied to join the Lalela team as an intern because I want to build more leadership skills and also to be more comfortable around other people. I want to teach people the true values of life and also be more committed to Lalela and continue my journey with Lalela strong. I hope that I learn more about how important our values are and how it is important to keep the children safe and (give them) a clean environment.

My plan for next year is to study social and community development and also arts and design.

My greatest dream and hope for my future is that I get to work as a social worker and help those who are in need of a safe home and protection, and also take care of them. My dream is to open a home / shelter in my community to keep children safe and also keep them away from making bad decisions in life.

I would like to share these words with my peers.

One of my mentors once said: “A journey of thousands of miles begins with a step”. No matter how hard life hits you do not give up. Never give up on your dream. One day you will prove yourself right.

Below: Ryan and his Lalela classmates celebrating the results of their final exams and the good news of a full-house pass rate!

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Your generosity makes it possible for Lalela’s educational arts programmes to create meaningful change that affects thousands of at-risk children in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Your generosity makes it possible for Lalela’s educational arts programmes to create meaningful change that affects thousands of at-risk children in Sub-Saharan Africa.



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