The Best Participant – Lebo Sekgotho
The Award for “Best Past Participant of a SSACI Programme” was awarded to Moleboheng (Lebo) Sekgotho this year.
Since 2011, SSACI has been recognising the past beneficiaries of our various programmes. Approximately 6500 young people have benefitted from SSACI’s interventions in various projects. In order to make this meaningful and motivate other young people, SSACI kept track of where the majority of these young people have gone and what they are doing.
The criteria are: young people who have shown remarkable resilience, moved beyond their humble beginnings, given back to the community in some way and shown a willingness to study and improve themselves both personally and professionally.
Moleboheng (Lebo) Sekgotho – Physiotherapist
Lebo also completed her studies through the Humans Resources for Rural Health Project. She did this through the Wits Initiative for Rural Health Education. Like Umthombo Trust, they offered bursaries and support to students from rural areas. This was funded by SSACI.
Lebo completed her studies at Wits in 2009. Thereafter she went to work at the Brits District Hospital. She is described as a person who takes responsibility, and is a community worker and decision maker. She was unable to pay her last two years at university and so negotiated with her cousin to stand surety for her. She has managed to pay back her student loan.
When Lebo arrived at the hospital to do her community service she discovered that there was no physiotherapy department. After recruiting other staff to assist her, she painted, cleaned and scrubbed to make the rooms comfortable and for two years, she ran the physiotherapy department by herself. Meanwhile she motivated for an assistant’s post to be created. Lebo also established outreach programmes to the local clinics and provided training to NGOs.
She is now and integral member of the hospital team and provides support and supervision to her assistant. She has continued to give back to her community and demonstrates commitment to her work. She won the CEO’s excellence awards in 2012.
The other two finalists were:
Ansha Truter – Engineering Assistant
Ansha completed her training through Access Trust, an organisation based in the Western Cape, which SSACI funded. This project is aimed at providing bursaries and support to young people in the Western Cape in order for them to study N courses in engineering. It is also aimed at providing them with the practical experience required in order to make them more employable.
Ansha completed N6 and went on to convert this to a National Diploma after completing her Trade Test. He is currently working towards completing her Wireman’s Licence. She is also intent on doing her Government Certificate of Compliance in the near future.
Ansha has worked hard and in spite of growing up in a gang-infested area, she has showed determination to get on and succeed in life. Unlike many others who are caught in the vicious cycle of poverty, violence and despair, Ansha has worked to move beyond this place and continue her growth.
According to her coach, she is “always willing to learn, not afraid of asking questions and generally very inquisitive”. Access Trust describes her as being a great role model.
Thabo Nakedi – Social Worker
He completed his studies through the Umthombo Youth Development Trust, based in Kwazulu-Natal. Umthombo Trust is part of SSACI’s Human Resources for Rural Health Project. This project was aimed at providing funding and support in the health and welfare areas of study for promising students from rural areas, with the aim of those students going back to work in their communities.
Thabo studied Social Work at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Although Thabo had to endure hardship; the loss of his mother, being raised by an older sister, not enough food, he still went on to work hard and do well at school. When he was unsuccessful in his first attempt to get into university, he went to volunteer and tried again the following year, when he was awarded a place at UKZN. He has always given of his time and to assist. Even during holidays he volunteered his services to the children’s home.
Thabo is described as hard worker, willing to take on tasks even they do not fall within his core function. He is sensitive and caring with the children with whom he works and always respectful.
Thabo was recommended by the principal of Mseleni’s Children’s Home because he has made good use of the scholarship he was given. He is back in the community by choice and helping others who are in a similar situation to the one in which he was found.
He is planning to study towards his master's degree next year..