My name is Thandiwe Jacobs, I work at LETCEE as a Training Facilitator.
I am the biological mother of two girls, but I am the guardian of five other children, all these children are related to me. These children are my nieces and nephews. Through the work I do at LETCEE, I have gained a lot of skills and knowledge on how to look after these children and care for them.
Being a trainer at LETCEE has exposed me to a wide variety of places such as Nquthu, Cato Ridge and Dundee to facilitate training. But the place that stands out for me is Nquthu. The ladies that I have worked with in Nquthu are from deep rural areas, but despite the oddes they are keen to learn. Most of the students arrive late at trainings because of the far ends of Nquthu that they come from. Some have to take two taxis every morning and afternoon to get to the venue and back home again. In cold, wet days or summer sizzling days, they never use the travelling as an excuse.
I remember when I started to train in Nquthu, there was a student who used to come with her newborn baby and a nanny to training. The nanny used to sit on the veranda with the baby, who used to be fed during the different breaks that we had in training. All the ladies are mothers who are working to improve their education level. Teaching them is honestly a blessing! They are females who some don’t have support from their families, because their husbands work in Johannesburg and they are left to look after the families on their own – not forgetting that most of them are married.
I wanted to work at LETCEE because when I used to listen what people was saying about LETCEE, it made me really want to for for this organisation. LETCEE brings change to so many ladies from different places within the heart of KZN. Ladies from deep rural areas are talking about LETCEE to city ladies in a way that made me realise that this is something special. I am a people’s person, I like talking to people, interacting and sharing ideas with them – I needed to be working at a place like LETCEE.
My favourite module to facilitate is the Orientation to ECD, better known as the Basic course. This is usually ladies’ first step to getting their Level 4 certificate.
When I facilitate this module I am happy because the students that I would be facilitating are first-time students. The module itself entails information that the students often take for granted, like how children should be treated at the ECD site, how a practitioner should carry herself, room arrangement and why all these are important to ensure growth for the children at that ECD site.
In this module we make a variety of resources which help the practitioners to be able to use at their ECD site to do activities with the children. We make puzzles, story books for the quiet areas, weather charts, outdoor resources and other items so that they do not say we don’t have resources. We give them the skills of how to make their own resources, which encourages them to be able to set out new activities for children that are age-appropriate and also ensures learning through play. This is very important for the children.
One of my dreams is to get my drivers license because this will empower me personally and workwise.
Working at LETCEE exposed me to things I would not have had experienced otherwise. I work with females who come from different areas of KZN (and the world). People often come here not sure if they chose the right direction or path in life, but they want improvement in their lives or careers. LETCEE helped to open my eyes to wanting a better future for myself and my family.
One thing I’ve become is a tourist as well, because LETCEE has given me the opportunity to travel to different places almost on a daily basis for on-site assessments for the Level 4 students. LETCEE has also exposed me to different places for staff development or Christmas outings – places that I would have never made an effort to go. These are the places which I really enjoy.
Thank you LETCEE for the opportunities that you have given me!
Written by Thandiwe Jacobs