Khulisani – Vocational Learning Program

We received communication about a vocational learning program on the horizon from the Department of Basic Education. This makes us optimistic and confident that energy and resources are being targeted in the right direction with regards to formal schooling qualifications for People With a Disability (particularly People with an Intellectual Disability). Good news indeed.

Rachael Erskine
Khulisani

Vocational Learning Programme On The Horizon – Department of Basic Education

The Department of Basic Education has gathered together education experts to develop a skills and vocational learning program for schools.

The general aim of the learning program is to enable learners who struggle to attain the academic targets set in the National Curriculum Statement, Gr R – 9 (including learners with intellectual disability) to realize their full potential in spite of the barriers that they experience.

The Department also recognizes that it is critical to introduce a skills and vocational track at an earlier point in the learner’s school career, so as to prepare learners better for the requirements of the world of work, to reduce the significant drop-out rate and ultimately to reduce youth unemployment. Learners who complete this qualification at about the age of 18 should be able to progress either onto the National Certificate Vocational (NCV), the Trades and Occupations or directly into employment.

Addressing officials before the session got underway, Mr. Suren Govender, Chief Director: Curriculum Implementation and Monitoring at the DBE, hailed the process as a historic moment in South Africa’s quest to provide quality education to all learners.

“Currently our education system is geared towards academics, and there is an assumption that every learner will go on to enter tertiary education,” said Mr. Govender. “However large numbers of learners either don’t complete Grade 12 or simply do not pursue further studies once they have finished formal schooling. This process seeks to address this challenge.”

I Can! Drives Compliance

Over the past years, I Can! as an organisation has experienced growth in all its functions and has managed to assist hundreds of learners each year through learnerships. I Can! is directly and indirectly influenced by many factors from its macro and economic environment (the environment outside the company). However, I Can! has managed to keep up with these changes and as a result, one such consequence has been to focus on the upskilling of all our facilitators, with the aim of improving the quality of assessments we produce.

As an organisation, we are aiming to have all our facilitators registered as constituent assessors for the qualifications that they facilitate and the wheels are turning faster than expected. The first stage is for all facilitators to achieve the assessor unit standard and then registration with Services SETA on relevant qualifications to follow.

We are proud to announce that Vereeniging Academy has jumped at this opportunity and booked all facilitators (that weren’t already assessors) on the assessor training. From the 27th -29th of October, three of our Facilitators below will be attending assessor training with Assessment College. This will take our academy to 100% compliance of the first stage.

  • Sekopi Mabitle
  • Yvonne Mngomezulu
  • Lucy Ramonana

Among this group is also Gontle Moswane from Kempton Park academy.

We are proud of the work we are doing in our Academy and we feel special to be part of an organisation that is uplifting so many lives of PWD on such a large scale.

Liane M Chipangura
Operations Manager – Gauteng

I Aspire to be Happy in Life….

My name is Nonhlanhla Majola, I would like to share my life story. I fell pregnant when I was 22 years old and I later tested HIV positive. When I learned about my status I was angry and could not accept it: angry because I could not understand why that would happen to me when I only had one boyfriend. I am not a party girl.

I needed my family, but unfortunately they were not there for me. My Dad has his own family and my Mom is with her husband. At that point I had no one but I needed someone. It was hard and many times I wanted to end my life but through counselling I was able to accept my status.

Then I decided to do proposal at local clinics to sell something, so that I can support my child. Fortunately they were very happy with my proposal and I started selling some sweets and chips. I asked the clinic if there was any vacant job for cleaning, even volunteering so that I can get some experience. There was no post but they said I can start volunteering in the morning shifts.

I started going to Faith Mission Church where I found Mam Neli and Sibeko. I told them everything and that I want to study but I don’t have money. They told me about I Can! as I also told them that I like cooking and cleaning.

I then came to I Can! Academy to apply and they told me to come and hand in my documents. After some time they called me for Pre-Assessment; I couldn’t believe it. I was so happy that for once things are going well for me.

I’m now at I Can! Academy completing Domestic Service Qualification. I am thankful to God for the opportunity. I am now a strong individual who is responsible and able to stand on her own. I am so happy in the space that I am in and I foresee a bright future for me and my son.

Today I have come to realise that I am not alone, I have God and my son.

I aspire to be happy in life, and right now I can proudly say IM HAPPY!

Look what the Operations Managers have been up to

On the 4th September 2014 the Operations Managers gathered on the I Can! Hebron Nguni Farm near Howick, as part of a team building initiative. Gumboots were pulled on, sunscreen applied and with a determination to be commended, assisted agricultural learners to put up our first vegetable tunnel on the farm.

The event was coordinated by our colleagues from Angel Projects (take a look at their website: www@angelprojects.co.za) who patiently taught us which pole to attach and how to hang the netting correctly.

The soil for the vegetables had been previously prepared by firstly ripping the dry ground, using a tractor and then irrigating this area in preparation for our spades and forks. Compost from the farm’s fertile compost heap (recycled organic matter from the farm) was used to add nutrients into the soil. Although most of us found the work to be physically demanding, we all took turns with the shovel and before long the ground was ready!

The vegetable tunnels are 10m X 4m in size and are manufactured from galvanized steel pipes and shade cloth. Luckily you don’t need a degree in engineering; a few 10mm spanners and a hefty sense of humour did the trick!

A big variety of vegetables can be grown in a tunnel. The tunnel is big enough for a thousand spinach plants and 700 cabbage plants. We chose to plant mainly nutritious spinach plants, as this vegetable will be cared for and eventually eaten by the skills program learners who assisted us.

Did you know?

Only 10 (ten) percent of the water used in an open garden are used in the tunnel. The turnover out of the tunnel is approx. 8 (eight) times more than that of an open garden. The lifespan of the tunnel is 7-8 years.

At the end of this very hot day we returned to our homes in our various provinces tired, but with a feeling that we had achieved something very special that will continue to give the gift of food to the needy for a long time to come.

Thank you to I Can! for sponsoring this wonderful event and thank you to Angel Projects for the brilliant team building initiative.

Rowan Robinson
Special Projects Manager

LONDON MARATHON

Diabetes mellitus is reaching epidemic proportions worldwide. Type 1 diabetes usually starts in childhood. This form of diabetes requires insulin injections 3-5 times per day. In addition, children and their families have to monitor their blood glucose levels many times a day and be careful about diet and activity. Until a cure is found, insulin injections, blood testing, diet and physical activity are the main focus for these children and their families as they aim to lead normal, healthy lives and prevent complications of diabetes. This places a huge psycho-social burden on the child and his/her family. Support for these children and their families, is therefore essential to ensure the best possible outcomes as they attempt to accomplish this arduous task.

The Sugarbabe Foundation was formed to provide support in the form of camps for children with diabetes. These children range in ages from infancy  to 18 years and are from different socio-economic groups and from all ethnic groups.

The objectives of the foundation are to:

  1. Provide support to children with diabetes and their families through education and information.
  2. Provide psycho-social support to children with diabetes by hosting events where children and their families meet, network and participate in games and other activities.
  3. Raise awareness among the public of the magnitude of the problem of childhood diabetes so that early signs and symptoms can be recognized and medical intervention sought.

The activities undertaken to achieve these goals include overnight adventure camps for children, half day camps for toddlers and their families, support group meetings and the annual World Diabetes Day picnic for children with diabetes and their families.

The London Marathon is one of the world’s largest marathons. Fund-raising has become the hallmark of this event and each year competitors are urged to raise funds for numerous charities. Many participants choose to raise funds for charities that are close to their own hearts.

Debbie Brien, I Can’s HR consultant competed in the London Marathon and has chosen The Sugarbabe Foundation as her nominated charity. She has undertaken to raise funds for the Foundation to carry out its activities in the coming years and to allow the support to develop further.

According to Debbie, it was an unbelievable experience running with 40, 000 other runners, all supporting a charity of their choice, and millions of supporters screaming in support of the runners.  “Running is my passion but to run with Passion and Purpose was the ultimate experience!”