Book tells how NPO is changing lives

Professor Marchien Timmerman collaborated with the Amy Foundation on Step by Step: The resilient youth of the Amy Foundation

A Dutch academic has written a book about the work of the Amy Foundation.

Professor Marchien Timmerman collaborated with the Sybrand Park non-profit organisation on the book, Step by Step: The resilient youth of the Amy Foundation. She and members of the organisation were part of the book’s virtual launch on Tuesday June 29.

Professor Timmerman, of Lelystad, in the Netherlands, works in the theology department of the Windesheim University of Applied Sciences.

The book describes the impact of a skills programme the Amy Foundation runs for the youth.

“We chose to interview eight students of the Amy Foundation,” said Professor Timmerman. “We found out more about their background and what programmes they participated in at the organisation.”

They had described the Amy Foundation as a safe place and family, she said.

She said she had built up a strong relationship with the organisation since doing a leadership course with it in 2015.

“In Holland, it opens windows for our students to learn new perspectives, teaches them to grow in commitment and connections, and they learn to give and to receive,” she said.

Megan Lambert, who participated in the Amy Foundation’s youth programme and now works as an administrator for it, said she felt honoured to tell her story for the book. “Hopefully it can assist in motivating the next person,” she said.

Akhona Mnqibisa, whose picture appears on the book’s cover, said: “The Amy Foundation saw my potential and capacities and saw that I was curious, and they trusted me.”

Mr Mnqibisa also took part in the organisation’s exchange programme and visited school’s in France. He is now a porter at the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa.

Professor Timmerman said the book acknowledged the accomplishments of young people. “If every person can flourish, overcome poverty and unemployment, it can become an important step in the human future,” she said.

Amy Foundation spokeswoman Michelle Bagley said: “We cannot do what we do without supporters like Professor Timmerman, who see the great work that the Amy Foundation is doing and then want to spread the word locally and internationally.”

Ms Bagley said the book could inspire the country’s youth, “giving a voice to the voiceless and hope to the hopeless”.

The book sells for R75. All proceeds go to the Amy Foundation. Visit or email for more information.

Akhona Mnqibisa is on the cover of a book about the Amy Foundation.
Amy Foundation employee Megan Lambert tells her story in Step by Step: The resilient youth of the Amy Foundation