The Covid-19 pandemic has been extremely challenging for learners in South Africa, hence a group of young unemployed graduates from Letlhabile outside Brits, North West, have been helping pupils who are struggling with their school work. The initiative was started by Amogelang Steyn, after realizing that a lot of children wasted time on the streets and doing drugs. He formed Acadia Academy in 2011 to help the pupils with homework and subjects they are struggling with. The academy helps 100 pupils from grades R to 11 and does not
Teachers are at the frontlines of their communities’ responses to the COVID–19 crisis. As we move into the second pandemic year, there are millions of parents facing financial struggles, thousands of families impacted by the grief of losing loved ones and the constant stress arising from the fears, anxieties and frustrations affecting South Africans of all ages. It’s not surprising that there
Jesslin Samboya (22) from Pella in the Northern Cape, is on track to complete her Bachelor of Education degree this year. She tells a heartwarming story of overcoming personal tragedy to pursue her dream profession, with plans to return to Pella as a qualified teacher and the hopes of studying towards her Honour’s degree and possibly a Master’s in Education. Jesslin who applied for and was awarded a Konkoonsies Solar Power bursary in 2017, after attending a presentation from the solar plant at her school, suffered the loss of her leg two years later, due to a medical complication. She didn’t let this massive physical set back deter her from her goal and has continued successfully on her set path. “This scholarship has meant so much to me and my family, especially after everything that happened to me and how my life has changed. It has allowed me to pursue my dream of teaching despite my challenges. When my studies are complete I would like to return to Pella to teach but I also have a dream to study further in this profession,” said Jesslin. Having come from a small rural Afrikaans town, the move to Cape Town to study at Varsity College took some adjustment, but her grasp of English has improved and she has adjusted to city life and enjoys campus life along with all the benefits of a larger social environment. Teaching wasn’t Jesslin’s first choice of career, but having been inspired by her high school Afrikaans teacher, she was encouraged to take up teaching and hasn’t regretted the decision since. She is now even seen as a role model in Pella, taking on the responsibility of encouraging other young community members to seek a path to their dreams. Jesslin is one of five beneficiaries of the Konkoonsies Solar Power Scholarship Programme, which is
The small community of Grabouw will soon have its own resident female dentist. 24–year old Jillian Uren, who successfully achieved a Bachelor of Dental Surgery at the end of last year, is doing her community service at St Apollinaris Hospital in Kwa-Zulu Natal, before heading back to her home to work and serve her community. “Dentistry has always been something I’ve wanted to do – it’s such a beautiful career for women, especially if you want to have a family one day. It’s also a great profession to specialise and I have also considered the demand in my community. There are only two older dentists in Grabouw and neither of them are women, so I would like to take up this role within the community that I come from in the not too distant future,” explained Jillian, who studied dentistry with the financial support of a Klipheuwel Wind Farm Bursary, at the University of the Western Cape. Jillian’s sense of Ubuntu is evident in her choice to volunteer and help out local Dentists in the disadvantaged areas of Grabouw. “In my home, we were raised to give back to our communities, so I definitely want to serve my community in Grabouw, even if I need to start off doing dental hygiene awareness at school education, before starting my own practice.” Jillian is one of 28 students who have been funded by the Klipheuwel Wind Farm Bursary programme, since the inception of the programme in 2016. The bursary programme is open to ambitious youth in the Theewaterskloof Municipality communities of Genadendal, Caledon, Grabouw, Botriver and Hermanus.The wind farm keeps in touch with the bursary recipients, helping to motivate them to achieve their goals. “We like to be able to assist graduates to find employment, especially to seek opportunities within the communities that our bursary programme benefits, which affords them the privilege of serving their communities and of course contributing to our country’s rural economy,” concluded Hlengiwe Radebe, Economic Development Director for Klipheuwel Wind Farm.
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