“It was during my final school year that my cousin was stabbed in the back with a knife and left paralysed. He moved in with us. My mother and I had to take care of him full-time. It was hectic, but I managed to finish matric. I didn’t know what to do after school. I signed up for so many courses trying to find my place in the world, but never completed any of them.
Our financial situation at home was tough and I had to drop out to find work. I started as a furniture salesman and hated it. I was just selling stuff and I didn’t feel I was contributing to anyone or anything. I remember thinking: ’I have to get out of here. I need to make a difference’.
Eventually I managed to complete the life skills programme run by Elevation Programme. They helped me understand what it was that I really wanted and gave me the confidence to pursue it.
After that, I enrolled in the Homecare course at Wamakersvallei Training Centre. That was my turning point. I became part of their family and learnt to have discipline and stay positive.
I got the opportunity to do my practical with Spescare hospital and it went so well that they immediately appointed me as a relief caregiver. No one really thought I would finish something. And to be honest it was hard. Life and circumstances around me were difficult.
If it were not for the amazing encouragement and care I received from Elevation and Wamakersvallei I would have just given up.
Thinking back now, I realise that taking care of my cousin prepared me for my life’s purpose to care for people and to help others. One of the frail care people I was caring for at Spescare has returned home. His family called me the other day and said they wanted me to care for him full time at their home. So I have just started working for them.
My longer term dream is to study to be a nurse.
That is what I have faith for now.”