How The Love Trust’s ECD Teacher Training Programme is changing the lives of South African women
The women of South Africa face adversity, heartbreak, injustice and inequality on a daily basis. Even though the number of women in South Africa outnumber the number of men, women in South Africa earn 23%-35% less than their male counterparts, and are more likely to be victims of gender based violence. The women of South Africa are fighting for a brighter future, not only for themselves but for all South Africans and that definitely needs to be celebrated.
Torch carrier for women empowerment
Lizzy Moyo, who is responsible for the administration of student teacher training at The Love Trust, replicates the administration footprint for our flagship teacher training centre in Thembisa to other centres across the country. Lizzy ensures the programmes run effectively and are sustainable and handles the student accounts, fees, writing reports that provide feedback on how funds are going to help fulfilling the mission of The Love Trust. When Lizzy first applied for the position, the one thing that truly stood out for her was the phrase ‘empowering women’ in the job description and that’s exactly what she wanted to do and has been doing ever since! Currently, there are five training centres with more in the pipeline.
As a liaison between the student-teachers and the training centres, it has provided Lizzy with a unique relationship with the teachers. She has served in many instances, as a mentor, as an advisor, and as a counsellor. Lizzy has not only inspired and guided the teachers but shared in the tears and triumphs, as well that. Her favourite tears are the tears of joy that are shared at the end of the graduation ceremonies. They are priceless.
Lizzy has found joy and purpose through her work. Not only because of what the teacher training programme means for the improved quality of education of learners in poor communities but for the difference it means in the lives of the teachers. Certified early childhood development (ECD) teachers now have the confidence and knowledge for example to advance their studies, open their own pre-schools, apply for higher positions, and grow their financial wealth and independence.
Benefactor and graduates’ successes
One such benefactor and graduate of the teacher training programme is Shabalala Ntombifuthi Lungile. Shabalala always enjoyed caring for children even from the age of 12 when she was placed in charge of looking after the little ones in her family. So, becoming a teacher at a pre-school came naturally to her and when she was told of the opportunity to become a certified ECD teacher she immediately applied. Shabalala now has a better understanding of the importance of early childhood development and has the skills to stimulate and better care for children. She now has great confidence in her capabilities and it has fostered a hunger to learn even more.
Shabalala has gone through hardships that we cannot fathom. Growing up in stark poverty, good life choices are harder to come by and sometimes even harder to make. Shabalala had made some bad choices earlier in her life and did her time in prison to atone for them. This would have broken the spirit of many people, but not Shabalala. She has learnt to love herself, forgive herself, treat others with respect and bear no one any ill will. Few people get a second chance to change their lives after something like a prison sentence, but Lungile’s determination to grow and succeed combined with the opportunities that The Love Trust teacher training programme offers, is doing just that. Shabalala lives by the motto that if you want something, and that dream is your purpose, never give up. Don’t be ashamed of your past. Learn from your mistakes and go ahead and fight for what you want to be.
The importance of donors
But this can’t be achieved without the assistance of donors and Lizzy hopes that people realise what this means for the world, for the future, for everyone in general, and that those with funds can realise how much of an impact they can make. Lizzy is not a teacher but she believes that she is also making a great contribution to the future of tomorrow, in the little things that she does and what she does to be part of this big project.