Skills development opportunities at Bergzicht

Danine van Rooi, an alumnus of Bergzicht Training, during a class activity at her home-based child care facility.

Bergzicht Training, a Stellenbosch-based, non-governmental organisation dedicated to developing the skills of poor, unemployed, unskilled and semi-skilled individuals from the Western Cape, will once again offer school leavers with a Grade 10, 11 or 12 certificate an opportunity to further their skills in 2019.

Individuals between 19 and 35 who are interested in hospitality, health care or working in the education sector, can connect with the organisation now to apply for the iPOWER (Self-Empowering) Foundation Programme that must be completed before they may apply for one of Bergzicht Training’s advanced skills development training programmes.

The advanced programmes – including the Health and Frail Care Programme, the Cathsseta-accredited Food Preparation Assistant and Food and Beverage Service Assistant Programme, and the Edu Care Programme – are subsidised, with beneficiaries who have already completed the iPOWER Programme only required to cover a registration fee of R160 for an advanced programme.

Those who have not completed the entry-level iPOWER Programme, must do so before applying for an advanced programme. The fee for the iPOWER Programme is R65.

Over the last 26 years, Bergzicht Training has trained more than 10 000 beneficiaries and found employment for about 76% of those graduates.

The Health and Frail Care Programme is open to anyone between the ages of 23 and 35 with a Grade 10, 11 or 12 certificate. It focuses on teaching beneficiaries how to take care of a sick or frail patient, an elderly person or a sick baby/child.

The programme covers modules such as ethical care at health care centres and in private homes, basic anatomy, assisting immobile patients, and baby and child care.

The Cathsseta Food Preparation Assistant Programme is open to anyone between the ages of 19 and 35 with a Grade 10, 11 or 12 certificate.

This programme prepares students for employment opportunities as professionally trained waitrons, cooks, kitchen assistants, and assistant chefs in the hospitality and tourism industries.

On completion, students are often placed in well-known restaurants, guest houses, hotels and at wine estates in the Western Cape.

The Edu Care Programme is also open to anyone between 23 and 35 years old with a Grade 10, 11 or 12 certificate.

This programme focuses on topics such as child development, perception challenges, creative activities, age-appropriate literature for different stages of childhood development, child abuse, school readiness, baby care, preparing a balanced meal, and a range of other related topics.

Beneficiaries will also be able to complete a certified two-day Level 1 First Aid course before embarking on a work-integrated learning opportunity, which will provide them with practical work experience at various Educare institutions.

Many graduates go on to work at crèches, as day care mothers, child minders, or au pairs or open up their own home-based day care facility.

One such graduate is Danine van Rooi of Wesbank, Delft, who runs her own day and aftercare centre called Little Miracles Day and Aftercare from her home.

Little Miracles caters to a growing need within the community for reliable and effective early childhood development facilities.

In a community often plagued by violence and where parents are forced to work long hours to support their families, Danine’s child care facility is easing the minds of many parents.

“Wesbank is a really chaotic place at times, so I am happy that I can help keep some of the children off the street,” says Danine.

“I have also grown a lot. I used to be very shy, but I am lot more outspoken now and I am learning new things every day. This experience has made me excited about my future.

“I now realise that there is always hope. There is no such thing as not being able to do something for yourself. You will never know what you can do if you are not willing to take the first step.”

For more information about Bergzicht Training’s programmes, contact reception@bergzicht.org.za or 021 883 3525.