By Margaret Connors, The Big Issue South Africa
Three Big Issue South Africa vendors recently shared the opportunity to complete a six-month home-based care course at the Kayamandi Nursing College in Wynberg, in Cape Town’s southern suburbs.
During the training, the vendors were taught the practical and theoretical skills needed to be nurses or home-based care givers, increasing their further education and employment prospect in the care industry.
The three successful vendors who completed the course were Nondinaye Tyalisi, Thandeka Swartbooi and Siphokazi Mogobiane.
Nondinaye, one of the top achievers on the course, always wanted to be a nurse, but had not been able to complete her Grade 12, a requirement for going to nursing college.
But now, aged 39, she hopes to one day own her own early childhood development centre or have a career as an assistant nurse. “That is what I like,” she says, “because I’ve always liked children, and they say it’s fine to have two different dreams. For me it is nursing and early childhood development work.”
Nondinaye says she learned more than she would ever have thought possible, However, due to a shortage of money, she wasn’t able to continue her studies after the free six-month period.
Due to the promise Kayamandi Nursing College’ principal saw in her, he offered to pay for her next course, but as she could not afford the transport to Wynberg, Nondinaye was unable to carry on.
Undeterred, and with six months of training in home-based care behind her, she is now ready to look for a job. “Once I find a job, I will work for up to a year, and then either go back to school, or continue work,” she says.
For all of the women attending, the course provided the support and information needed to jump-start a career in a care-based profession.
And, as Nondinaye reminds herself, “The Big Issue is not only a magazine for you to survive on. It is a magazine for you to survive on until you get what you want.”
Nondinaye and her colleagues are on that path. They had the opportunity to learn about something they all wished for at a younger age and are, slowly but surely, seeing their dreams become a reality.