Learners from Casteel under Bushbuckridge Municipality thought coming from rural areas could limit them to achieve their desired future, but this changed when Winning Youth Foundation (WYF) organize career exhibition for high school learners under Casteel circuit.
Winning Youth Foundation is an NGO founded by one of the youngest Doctors in the country Fortunate Tintswalo Silinda. The foundation was established in 2017 with the aim of empowering youth from rural areas. Doctor Silinda, who is a PhD graduate in Psychology, was born and raised in Bushbuckridge. She is currently a senior lecturer at University of South Africa in Pretoria.
The exhibition was attended by seven schools from the Casteel circuit. Dr Silinda said the foundation chose Casteel because during her PhD research, she discovered that students from rural areas struggle a lot when it comes to choosing fields of study. Silinda said she realised that these students would go to tertiary not knowing what they want to do, hence they thought it will be proper to empower them with career related information.
This five day career exhibition was held at Alfred High School. Some of the institutions which were present to engage the learners include; the Department of Correctional Services, Department of Labour, Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Absa, Nedbank, African Bank, NYDA, Seda, South African Police Service, Unisa, MSC Business College, Romans (Dwarsloop franchise) and the Mpumalanga Department of Education.
According to Dr Silinda, the assistance to learners didn’t just end with a career fair, she said Grade 12 learners were also offered extra lessons.
“Casteel is one of the under-performing circuits in Bushbuckridge, hence we decided to offer extra lessons after school and on weekends. We have a pool of graduates with speciality on some of the subjects offered in high school, they committed themselves to offering extra lessons to grade 12 students, hoping that this contribution will bring a significant improvement to matric results of the circuit” said Dr Silinda.
The career fair was sponsored by Romans (Dwarsloop franchise), who showered learners with pizza, Unisa, Department of Education and Vodacom Mpumalanga region.
One of the students who attended the career fair, Thuso Mokoena, said the exhibition came at the right time when he was looking for advices on what he can study next year.
“I am doing grade 12, I have been confused about what to study next year. But this exhibition shed a light, I want to be an architect, I love drawings and I believe I will be the best on this” said Mokoena.
According to Silinda, the exhibition is set to be an annual programme. She said they are still going to come back to the circuit to ensure that learners take education seriously.