tertiary education

A dream comes true

A little girl gazed at her Grade 7 teacher and felt a tug at her heart: “That’s what I want to be when I grow up.” Eight years later, the dream is now virtually a reality for Nobuhle Ndlovu. Back in 2012, she was a pupil at Amaoti No. 3 Combined School and her dreams seemed like the early morning mist in the North Durban township valleys which rapidly disappears as the sun rises. Her family had four mouths to feed and there certainly was no extra money for grand schemes like becoming a teacher.

Nobuhle went on successfully to complete her Matric at Amaoti No. 3 where she had been on The Domino Foundation’s Life Skills programme. Through this connection, the aspiring trainer of young minds heard of Domino’s Skills Development programme which has created a platform through education to empower and equip young people from economically challenged backgrounds to reach their full potential. Opportunities to gain an education in a chosen field are opened up by The Domino Foundation’s Bursary Programme by providing access to funding for tertiary qualifications, living and travel allowances and educational resources. Nobuhle was determined and went through the interview process and was awarded a bursary to study for a B Ed degree at UKZ Edgewood.

Three years later, the journey is almost over but hasn’t been without its challenges, particularly during the time of Lockdown. “Not being able to go to lectures on campus has my studies this year more difficult with I have been blessed with a laptop and with data so I have been able to be part of online lectures and video calls with my lecturers and supervisors.” She initially found home-learning challenging without the interaction and stimulation of being together with her peers: however, as a teacher-in-the-making. “I have learnt that improvisation and lateral thinking are two vital tools for any educator so I really think Lockdown has brought me some benefits!”

 Nobuhle had practical classroom sessions scheduled for this year but found the altered landscape of Lockdown challenging. “The transition from contact classes to online classes demanded so much extra work and zoom meetings and teaching sessions were made more difficult because the network in Amaoti is very bad.”

This self-assured and engaging young pedagogue’s greatest dream is to support learners to achieve their goals as her teachers did for her. “All my teachers played an important in my life from primary to high school to keep me grounded and focused on my dreams. I want to do the same for the new generation of learners.” Nobuhle is currently looking for a position as a teacher of business studies and of travel and tourism.

Unlike the little girl in the front row of the Grade 7 who could not imagine how her dream could ever take shape, Nobuhle is determined to be a facilitator of change in the lives of her young charges. Shaun Tait, CEO of The Domino Foundation would welcome enquiries from companies and individuals who would like to be part of making the dreams of other aspiring future students take on reality. He can be contacted at admin@domino.org.za or 031 563 9605.

Caption:

Successful graduate on The Domino Foundation’s Skills Development programme, Nobuhle Ndlovu, with her UKN mentor, Thulisile Hlope.

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SKILLS DEVELOPMENT UPDATE 1st QUARTER

The Domino Foundation’s Skills Development programme’s vision is to create a platform through education to empower and equip disadvantaged individuals to reach their full potential in their chosen field. It does this by providing access to funding for tertiary qualifications, living and travel allowances and educational resources. Building on the success of the programme over the past two years, bursaries for 2018 were awarded to twelve successful candidates and the students registered and began their studies at the start of the academic year. It was encouraging to see the increase in range of study areas the students are involved in. Five of the students are studying Education and one each Law, Financial Management, Dentistry, Medicine and Media and Public Relations and two are in disabled learnerships.

All the students attended a meeting at Domino where Operations Manager, Shaun Tait, gave an overview of the Foundation. Leaders of the Skills Development programme, Brad and Taryn King, discussed the heart behind the initiative, what is expected of the students and of Domino, and inspired the students for their challenging year ahead. Domino has paid the students’ registration fees, fees due, book costs and stipends. The mentorship aspect of the programme, which primarily focuses on equipping the student to maximise their time of study, also supports and walks alongside them to ensure they have the confidence, knowledge and tools required to seek employment once their studies are completed. To ensure relevance and effectiveness, all activities are monitored and evaluated and so a document was set up for mentors to track the students’ well-being and progress.

In the process of building confidence, part of the students’ programme with Skills Development will include a Toastmasters course that students can be further equipped for their futures as effective public speakers and as strong leaders. Toastmasters’ supportive learn-by-doing environment is an excellent vehicle to help the students achieve their goals.

A challenge has been recognised in that the circumstances of Individual students vary greatly. This means that determining needs and how to meet those needs to be on a personalized basis and the formalised mentorship programme will be an effective tool in achieving this. Leanne Barker, Volunteer Manager at The Domino Foundation (volunteer@domino.org.za), would be delighted to hear from anyone interested in knowing more about what is expected of mentors.

This quarter also saw the programme expand its offering to include a three-year funding cycle with the potential to align with the donor’s SETA and Business sphere.  You can read about how The Domino Foundation partnered with a donor to provide a new method of impacting the manufacturing sector. Read more here.

The Skills Development programme is fully compliant and aligned with the new B-BBEE codes and The Domino Foundation qualifies as a skills development facilitator. The independent Beneficiary Analysis was received from our rating agency, ‘AQRate’. If you or your company need to obtain skills development points, please contact Tarin Stevenson (031 563 9605/tarin@domino.org.za).

Opportunities for an increased range of specific skills training are being explored as it has been very gratifying to see the programme expand from purely university and college education into the realm of learnerships as well. The Skills development programme is looking to develop partnerships with service providers in the skills development sphere and is identifying potential new donors. Brad King expects that an increased pool of candidates for 2019 now that the new online application process is operational. He is certain that opportunities for post-school education and training will be opened up for greater numbers of young people who would otherwise be faced with bleak futures.

Individuals or companies who would like to partner with Skills Development in this exciting programme can contact The Domino Foundation on 031 563 9605 or admin@domino.org.za.

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