Foundation co-ordinator tells all

2017-01-24 06:01
Jes Foord Awareness Campaign Co-ordinator, Nqobile Joyful Hlongwane. Photo: Nosipho Mkhize

Jes Foord Awareness Campaign Co-ordinator, Nqobile Joyful Hlongwane. Photo: Nosipho Mkhize

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PINETOWN Fever reporter, NOSIPHO MKHIZE, chatted to Jes Foord Foundation awareness campaign co-ordinator Nqobile Joyful Hlongwane, a BA psychology graduate from the Pearson Institute of Higher Education formerly the Midrand Graduate Institute.

NM: Where and when were you born?

NH: I am a true Durbanite, I was born on 4 May, 1989 at 2.05am, at McCord Hospital. I was born in six months and four days, which could explain the fighting spirit I have for life, and others.

NM: What are your hobbies?

NH: I am creative at heart and find myself drawing or writing random poetry, but of late I started reading From Playground to Prostitute: Based on a true story of salvation by Elanie Kruger and Jaco Hough-Coetzee. Funny how it somehow ties into the work I do. The lead character struggles with her inner voice, choices as well as her identity after her rape trauma, which influences the life she leads while discovering her true self. I also enjoy baking scones and cooking pasta - I could have been Italian in my past life.

NM: Tell me a bit about your childhood

NH: I am not going to lie and say my childhood was movie-perfect with a silver spoon or anything, but considering the resources my parents had, we made and make the best of what we have. I had food in my stomach, clothes on my back and an education. For me, like many, my reality was what I was open to and I might have not known it at the time, but the hardships actually motivated me to be hardworking and ambitious.

NM: Tell me a bit about your work at the Jes Foord Foundation

NH: The Jes Foord Foundation is a rape crisis centre that has been empowering rape survivors since 2008. We focus on three key areas - education, awareness and support. The foundation offers free trauma counselling for survivors of rape and sexual assault, as well as family and loved ones affected by the trauma. This is done from the Kloof offices, St Augustine Hospital, Durban Central and Mariannhill Multi-Purpose Counselling Centre, by qualified trauma counsellors.

NM: How has your experience as an awareness co-ordinator been?

NH: Working as part of the Jes Foord Foundation team, my role as the awareness campaign co-ordinator is filled with responsibilities working primarily to advance awareness campaign objectives in the community. As an awareness campaigns co-ordinator I aim to make a positive contribution to the public’s understanding of the foundation’s three key areas.
NM: Do you have a message for the youth?

NH: Gosh, this is tricky as I have a lot to say. Use what drives your passion and believe in your self-worth. You may be born into a difficult reality, but you shouldn’t be oppressed by that, it should elevate you to greatness. Find your passion and work towards it. Educate yourself, daily. Never second guess what God has instilled in you because it will amaze you when doubt and fear try to steal your shine. Turn your dreams into goals and make sure that you dream big.

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