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Graduation 28 June 2017

It was all smiles again as 220 students received certificates at the FCD graduation ceremony. Guest speaker Minah Koela had the audience in the palm of her hands with her inspirational talk. She started with an African jubilation song that touched the hearts of all those in attendance.
Minah who is mother to 6 children, a translator, interpreter and researcher at UCT, as well as a pastor had only inspirational words for the new graduates. The core of her message was this: “So we don’t save people, we must trust in God to do that. We don’t even have to say much, we must just love, care and show the way.”

The Bake for Profit course had 8 students that graduated, and according to tutors Elaine du Toit and Annabela Beuke, this group outshone previous classes in the practical sales targets they reached. Berinise Moses was one of the stars in this course. Over 8 weeks she made more than R3 000 while selling her goodies. She never thought that she would be able to go out and sell her products, but her 10-year old nephew told her to go and sell her goodies in the informal settlement. Now this has become a family outing over weekends and she is going from strength to strength. “Our Bake for Profit course remains an important training offering developing entrepreneurship,” says Jane.

Bake for Profit certificates were were proud to receive their hard-earned certificates. Pictured above from left are Mona Voges, Cheryl van der Merwe (Training Coordinator), Babalwa Mqakayi, Lena James , Trainer Anabela Beuka, Angelo Gallant, Agnes du Preez, Valerie Kok and Elaine du Toit. Front Berenice Moses.

The ever popular Frail Care course is a tough 6 week theoretical course followed by 5 weeks of practical work at an institution. Nozizwe Mabaleka says that from the moment she started the course: “I had a calling. I have always wanted to look after people who can’t help themselves. Orginally I wanted to be a nurse, but had to drop out of college because I didn’t have enough money to continue.” She then did a receptionist course but knew this was not for her. While working as a cashier she heard about FCD and decided to enrol. “I loved it from the minute I started and I have told at least 20 other people to come to FCD. After completing my course, I was employed by a family who has a little girl who can’t do anything for herself. She is 8 years old and I love looking after her.” The family have been so impressed with Nozizwe that they have sent her on a child-minding course two days a week.

Noziwe Mabaleka (above left) was one of the 10 students to receive a Frail Care certificate this term. Photographed with her are Junique Welkom, Nicolene October, Revonia Burger, Trainer DelianeNel, Eleanor De Klerk, Charlotte Adams, Shaandien Stephens, Zubeida Muckadam & Allison Van Staden. Charlotte Adams knew as a single mother of two she had to do something to improve their lives. She was working as a security guard when she decided to take the Frail Care course. Charlotte took on the night shifts and would be in class from 08h00 til 4h30 and then go straight to work. “I always wanted to work with old people and when my friend told me about the course at FCD, I decided to give it a go.
“It was one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my life. I worked security at night and came to class during the day. I had to leave my children with someone else during this time and that was very hard for me. There were many days that I wanted to give up because I was so tired and the course was very difficult – but my friend and all the wonderful people at FCD, especially our tutor Deli, just kept telling me that I could do it if I only kept going.”

Key to FCD’s placement successes are the relationships with placement partners. One such relationship is with the Yarden’s Children Enrichment Centre in Vierlanden. Adri Cloete, Owner of the Centre has been presenting a module on Caring for the Special Needs Child to our students every quarter. She has also opened her facility to site visits which allow the students to gain practical experience of the procedures taught. Working so closely with FCD has led to Adri recruiting staff from FCD’s pool of trained candidates.
When asked how things are going with the students that have been employed by Adri, she responded: “I am so happy with my staff. Even my neighbour said that she can see that I now have a brilliant team working with the kids. People from outside also commented on the new energy and the commitment shining through.”

Our pool of placement and job shadow partners has grown substantially. Pep Stores, who will be opening a store in Fisantekraal, and looking to recruit several students from us, has recently come on board through a 3 day job shadow partnership. We also remain grateful to continue the longstanding relationships for job shadows that we have with the Jumpstart programme, Pick ‘n Pay Graanendal, Soneike and Willowbridge, Spar Kraaifontein and Aurora and more recently Spiro’s Mica.
Natalie van Eeden of Spiro’s Mica said that “Participating in the job shadow programme has been most beneficial. It has given us an opportunity to evaluate candidates’ performance prior to making appointments — and allowed us to identify potential that we would never have discovered without FCD’s recommendation. Investing three days of job shadow training into an individual then allows us to use them as casuals when we are short-staffed.”

“On the Office Basics front, we’ve been overwhelmed by the response from several corporates to offer us with Job Shadow opportunities”, says Jane Geldeman. “ Our corporate Job Shadow partners now include Metropolitan, Truworths, Vodacom and TFG. Other Office job shadow partners include: Exceed Accounting, Nolands Accounting, AL&L, MES Bellville, Portland Quarry, NG Kerk Durbanville and Tjeka. In Our last group of Office Basics learners visited the Truworths Financial Services Call Centre in June to gain deeper insight into life at a call centre. During the visit, our learners had an opportunity to complete the initial recruitment assessment process to qualify for a job at Truworths.

Nathan Groeners didn’t know a thing about computers when he arrived at FCD. He already had a cake icing business but wanted to be able to advertise his business and become more professional. “I was very shy when I started at FCD but through everything they taught me, I was able to overcome my fears and enter a baking competition. I even managed to win a bake-off. If it had not been for FCD, I would never have done anything like that. They taught me to put myself out there and to believe in myself. All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you!”

The students pictured above received Sunshine and Most Motivated to Succeed Awards
Top from left Rithabile November, Sibabale Komanisi, Nathan Groeners, Valerie Kok, Angelo Gallant, Cheryl van der Merwe (Training Coordinator), Lunga Maki, Charlotte Adams.
Centre from left Grace Zingiswa Dzingwa, Yanga Bobotyana, Neliswa Silinda’s, Jane Gelderman (Director), Juanita Farao, Monchere van der Rost, Cedrick Van Wyk, Junique Welkom
Front : Kwanele Kawe and Chantel Thomas

Talking to and listening to the graduates, it is very clear that FCD offers so much more than certificate courses. They teach the students to value themselves and the people around them and to live a meaningful life. And listening to the tutors it is clear that they all share the same passion. “It is so rewarding to see the shy ones suddenly blossom and come into their own right,” was one of the comments that most all agreed with.

FCD is a non-profit organisation and rely on donations and funding from the community and businesses to secure ongoing sustainable impact in the vulnerable communities they serve.