Unemployed women become caregivers

2018-01-24 06:00
From left are Alison Petrus (student), Ward 37 Councillor Neville Higgins, Sellestine Borens (student, pretending to be a patient), course facilitator Nonceba Mdaka and Ntombekhaya Njenje (student).                                  Photo: ZELDRÉ STRAUSS SWANEPOEL

From left are Alison Petrus (student), Ward 37 Councillor Neville Higgins, Sellestine Borens (student, pretending to be a patient), course facilitator Nonceba Mdaka and Ntombekhaya Njenje (student). Photo: ZELDRÉ STRAUSS SWANEPOEL

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TWENTY-FIVE community members from Ward 37 in the northern suburbs of Port Elizabeth have the chance to make a change in not only their own lives but also in the lives of others as they are becoming qualified caregivers.

The group of unemployed women are receiving a free, accredited two-month course in home-based care which is facilitated by Nonceba Mdaka, a consultant to St Francis Hospice, and the office of Ward 37 Councillor Neville Higgins.

The course, which comprises theory as well as practical training, will enable these students to find employment as qualified carers for terminally ill patients at their homes. The students will receive certificates when they complete their training at the end of next month.

“We believe it is important to give the youth and also older persons in the area the opportunities to learn skills that would assist them with finding employment.

“This is just one of the ways in which we aim to empower our community members,” Higgins said.

One of the students, Sylvie van Willen, said she was grateful for the opportunity to become a caregiver.

“I have learnt so much about illnesses and how they can be prevented or how to better your health if you’ve already been diagnosed. We had a practical lesson at a house in our area and I could see that there is a need in our community,” Van Willen said.

She added that she would love to do some voluntary work in the community when she finished her training, but would like to one day obtain a permanent job.

“I am very grateful to Councillor Higgins and Quintin Baatjies of the Ward 37 office, as well as Sister Mdaka, who made this possible for us. We truly appreciate it.”

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