NSF Graduation & Certification Ceremony 2016
Author: Epilepsy SA
On 1 April 2016 Epilepsy South Africa Western Cape Branch, proudly hosted a Graduation Ceremony at the Arts Cape Opera House for 110 NSF Phase One Learners who completed a course in Business Practice NQF 1 in 2014.
Epilepsy South Africa Western Cape Branch, proudly hosted a Graduation Ceremony at the Arts Cape Opera House for 110 NSF Phase One Learners
On 1 April 2016 Epilepsy South Africa Western Cape Branch, proudly hosted a Graduation Ceremony at the Arts Cape Opera House for 110 NSF Phase One Learners who completed a course in Business Practice NQF 1 in 2014. These learners were given their SSETA qualification certificates from Boston College for successfully completing this course.
On the same evening the branch hosted the certification ceremony in celebration of the 250 NSF (National Skills Fund) Phase Two Learners who completed their training in December 2015. Of the 250 learners who participated in the Phase Two Learnership, 161 participated in the Business Administration NQF 4 Learnership, 49 participated in the Furniture Manufacturing Learnership and 50 learners participated in the Early Childhood Development Learnership. These learners are all still awaiting confirmation of their qualification from the following SETA’s: ETDP SETA, SSEAT and FP&M SETA.
In spite of us still awaiting their confirmation of their qualification, we deemed it necessary to celebrate with the learners the fact that as people living with disabilities, they were able to rise above their social circumstances and pursue training and a qualification in a career of their choice.
Marlene Le Roux the CEO of Arts Cape Theatre was the programme director at the graduation. We also hosted special guest speakers like; Mr. Shafiek Fredericks- From the National Skills Fund, Mr. Michael Bagraim who is a Labour Law Specialist, Mr. Rustim Arafdien -Disability Specialist, Ms Rajes Pillay from Old Mutual HR Executive for Learning, Mr. Glen Van Harte-Director Metro South Western Cape Education Department and HRH Princess Dlamini who is a current Arts Cape Board member.
The pride and joy expressed on the faces of the families who attended the event was priceless. Through the completion of these learnerships, family members developed insight about the capabilities of people with disabilities and also learned about the support required by a person living with a disability.
At the Graduation and Certification event, one of the learners, Ms. Elsa Bates shared her experience of being part of the NSF Phase Two Learnership. This learnership experience came with many personal ups and downs for her but with the help of her, family, friends, social workers, mentors and facilitators, she was able to complete the Early Childhood Development Course in 2015.
Elsa a mother of two children, of whom one has a disability, proved against all odds that she is able to achieve success in spite of her having a disability.
At the evening of the graduation the National Director of Epilepsy South Africa, Ms. Marina Clarke, presented one of the learners who completed the NSF Phase Two learnership, Lawern Stoffels with the National Trophy Awards for people with Epilepsy.
The award is known as the Flame of Courage and will be awarded annually to give recognition to persons with Epilepsy who have shown courage, growth and personal development in their personal life, in academics, their career or other spheres of their lives.
Lawern became known to Epilepsy South Africa in 2012 at the age of 21 years old, during a period of her life where she experienced multiple traumas and setbacks and she reached out to one of the social workers at Epilepsy South Africa Western Cape branch for assistance. She was also unemployed at the time and requested the social worker to assist her with finding employment.
It was at this stage that the social worker introduced her to the NSF Business Administration NQF Level 4 Learnership and she was immediately interested in this skills training opportunity as she realized that through obtaining skills and a qualification it would be easier for her to source employment.
On 8 September 2014 Lawern started attending the NSF Business Administration NQF Level 4 Learnership training and was placed at Epilepsy South Africa Western Cape Branch for two months for her practice training. However after two months it was recommended by her social worker for her to be placed at Old Mutual for further practice training in order to determine how she would cope in a less protective work environment. Even at Old Mutual Lawern thrived.
Lawern’s Learner Support Officer described her as a committed, dedicated and hardworking learner who was eager to reach her fullest potential. During the course of the learnership she also experienced some more personal challenges but in spite of all of that she was very seldomly absent, always punctual and always submitted her assignments on time.
After she completed the learnership in 2015, she enrolled for a course in journalism with HGG Group.
As nominee for the National award, Lawern Stoffels received the Flame of Courage Trophy and a cash prize of R3,000. She would also serve as an Epilepsy Ambassador and will act as role-model for other young people with Epilepsy.