Stellenboschbased nongovernmental organisation (NGO) Bergzicht Training and Development & Development recently hosted the Remgrofunded Health and Frail Care certification ceremony for Group 4 of 2022. The joyous event saw 14 graduates receive their certification for this 15week fulltime course.

Bergzicht focusses on producing high quality, relevant and in demand training. This accredited Health and Frail Care programme covers five weeks theoretical and practical oncampus training and 10 weeks practical work through a workintegrated learning opportunity offered at one of Bergzicht’s partner institutions across the greater Stellenbosch area.

Graduate Someleze Johnson served as MC, and graduate Nosongo Mbambala delivered a touching opening prayer after the new graduates entered.

Bergzicht CEO Renske Minnaar welcomed the guests, including Cheryl Farao, Head of Community Projects CSI at Remgro Limited, Bergzicht Director Dr Hannes Koornhof, and guest speakers Sister Maria Luphondo (Nursing Director at Eersteriver Hospital) and Bergzicht alumna Phatiswa Princess Danana.

The Bergzicht team and the new graduates noted that it hadn’t been an easy road since their start in April. However, they feel that they’d successfully completed this part of their journey thanks to their perseverance and the support they’d received from each other, as well as the exceptional support from the Bergzicht team.

Ms Farao congratulated the graduates on their hard work and motivated them by stating that life is like a camera, in the sense that one should focus on the important things and always take another shot if things don’t work out the first time. Sister Luphondo described the group as ‘warriors’ and said that communities need people like them now more than ever. “I would like to encourage you to go into the community, lead, and make a difference,” Sister Luphondo added. This powerful message was echoed in the words of Ms. Danana, from Kayamandi, who said the ceremony was an act of empowerment for women within their communities.

Tears of joy were visible as the graduates received their certificates from Dr. Koornhof and Ms. Farao and whilst each graduate lit a candle. The graduates then took the Carer’s Pledge, and the ceremony was brought to a close with a word of thanks from graduate Karen Stewart: Thank you to the funders, the facilitators, the CEO and director, [my] fellow graduates, and everyone else supporting us on this journey.

As stated by Nathalie Skippers, registered Social Worker Student Development Manager at Bergzicht Training & Development, this is not the end of the road for these graduates. Bergzicht offers ongoing support for 12 months after graduation and assists graduates in their job search with the help of local partners.

To conclude the celebration, the overjoyed graduates were surprised with uniforms donated by the Gouws Trust. These uniforms add value to the graduates’ employability during their first work placements.

The recruitment and intake of next year’s students commences in December, with training starting in February of 2023. Eligible applicants who interested in any of Bergzicht’s programmes can visit the organisation’s website and get in contact via email or WhatsApp (071 637 3029).

MAIN PHOTO: Frail Care Group with the funder Remgro (Left to Right)
Front row: Sizwe Mbebe, Sherene Harhief (private student), Karen Stewart, Ntombivelile Sigcawu, Cerne Hough,
Luncida Thomas
Second Row: Cheryl Faro (Remgro,) Jestenesa Liebenberg, Ncebakazi Mahlasela, Nosongo Mbambalala
Back Row: Nolundi Mbarane, Paulina Williams, Someleze Johnson,Vanessa Lawrence, Yolande Donson

SECONDARY PHOTO: Bergzicht and work-integrated learning partner, Eersteriver Hospital (Left to Right)
Benita Petersen, Training Manager at Bergzicht with Sister Luphondo (Deputy Nursing Director), Sister Abrahams and Sister Arnand from
Eersteriver Hospital.