Diyoko continues to rise…

Diyoko’s story has been featured on our blog before. One of our proudest success stories, Diyoko overcame a terrible accident that left him partially disabled and after training at Sparrow in Business Administration was employed in the Admissions office. From when he first had his accident Diyoko has been working with Evey and Gail Jones from the Department of Speech Therapy and Audiology at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital. As Evey put it, Diyoko’s speech disorder was a structural one, which meant it was caused by the reshaping of his physical face and mouth rather than any cognitive reasons. This frustrated Diyoko as he tried to communicate with his office mates Adelaide and Montshadi, as they could not always understand him.

Fortunately, technology has been growing in the field of alternative communication and Diyoko was identified as a prime candidate to receive an augmentative communication device from the hospital which would help him to communicate through his computer. The device is made up of an adapted mouse and joystick that reads into a computer programme. Diyoko will be able to preprogram common words and sentences and select the appropriate one when he wants to communicate with anyone in his office. His office mates will also be able to suggest any phrases they feel he may need to use to communicate with them or for them.

The programme has been a godsend to Diyoko and his team, and it gives him even greater independence and allows him to be more productive than before. Whilst the setting up process is still underway as Diyoko and his office mates all need to be trained in the software, everyone is excited about what it will mean in terms of Diyoko’s professional life.

“He will be able to participate even more at work,” Evey explains. “Dioko will be able to prepare for future meetings by pre-programming whatever information he wishes to present and bring forward. Every now and then, we will be checking up on him to make sure he is transitioning smoothly to augmentative communication, as we want this to be as uncomplicated and easy as possible for him. He will be able to do so much more, not only in his workplace but in his personal life as well.”

The simple act of communicating shouldn’t be something that hinders anyone in this age of technology, and thanks to the generous donation of Chris Hani Baragwanath, Diyoko has overcome another barrier and will achieve even more at Sparrow FET College.

Call us now to make your dreams a reality!   011 673 4410/4419

From welding student to achieving his dreams.

All his academic life, Pule Nkaenkae had been a great student. He sailed through the first eleven years of his schooling and when he got the chance to do a diploma he succeeded in graduating with several distinctions. All in all, Pule should have been on top of the world. But after graduating it all came to a standstill. He just couldn’t get a job. His diploma in Road Transport Management was good, but ultimately, the job market was just too saturated to find a place for him. Pule was never one to sit on his haunches however. He still had a small but steady job as a sales assistant that he had worked steadily at for six years since a year after matric, and though it wasn’t enough to achieve his goals, he worked hard at it whilst he looked for something better. At the end of 2013, he heard about Sparrow FET College from a youth development programme he attended. Sparrow was one of the recommended schools for youth in his position or even worse, and Pule immediately took the chance and signed up for the welding programme. He was not hesitant about going back to school all over again.

“I love learning,” he says with passion. “Learning the theory of welding was very simple for me as I enjoy studying greatly. From the word go, what I liked about Sparrow FET College was the fact that you could feel the personal vested interest in your education from the college. You had a relationship with them. I was not just a face at a university, I was Pule who was doing Welding and they knew every facet of my learning. If I struggled, they would immediately see and help me.”

At first Pule struggled at the college. In those days, the welding programme was new and there were no stipends for students so Pule struggled with transport money. But he grit his teeth and persevered. Attending Sparrow also opened Pule’s eyes to opportunities the youth today ignored. “Young people today, they all want to rush to university, but that is not where the jobs are.” He says ruefully. “They should research what is in demand.”

By July of 2014, Pule was doing his placement at New Heights Tank Design as a trainee. After he finished his training, the company took him in. Here began another rollercoaster. Pule had a great work ethic and all the managers were greatly impressed by him. He was snapped up into another department as soon as he was made a permanent employee, and got the opportunity to travel out of the country for large projects. And as of this year, when the company split and a new one was formed, Pule was the in demand employee everyone wanted to hire.

“I am a very motivated person, and with the training I got at Sparrow, I finally got a chance to apply and be rewarded for my motivation. What I always like to say is don’t start something you can’t finish. It is a waste of time and energy. It’s very difficult to overcome financial struggles, they interfere with everything, but as soon as you begin something you need to work to finish it. Be determined, be motivated, finish the task.”

Pule has plenty more tasks he is set to achieve, travel, furthering his new career and more. But with his determination and motivation, he is sure to achieve his dreams.

For more info: go to www.sparrowschools.co.za, call us on 011 673 4419 or email us on admissions@sparrowschools.co.za

A female student in a male dominated industry deiced to take charge whilst on workplace experience and was hired after a month!

Thembisile first heard about the opportunity to study Fluid Power Hose Assembly at Sparrow FET College through The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA). After graduating from college, Thembisile could not find a job in the field of electrical engineering and spent several years volunteering whilst looking for work.

In April 2016, Thembisile registered to study Fluid Power Hose Assembly at Sparrow FET College in Sophiatown and found the course ‘interesting’ and ‘engaging’. After her three months at the College, Thembisile was placed at Pirtek to gain practical work experience and within a month of her placement, she was offered a permanent position at the company.

“I used everything that I was taught and took initiative in my placement. I am enjoying my job and learning something new everyday.”

If you would like to find out more about the opportunity to receive a fully funded bursary to study at Sparrow FET College then we want to hear from you: admissions@sparrowschools.co.za / +27116734410 or 4419

A sports coaching student refuses to give up!

Xolane is on his way to living his dream. Since he was a boy, Xolane had always loved the thrill of football, and even more, the thrill of organising and running a team. He didn’t immediately seize on that passion, however. In his neighbourhood in Thembisa, Xolane was known for the football team he had been coaching since Grade 11, Boys’ Team FC.  

After completing his matric, he got a job at OR Tambo International Airport in customer service. The job was good, but the hours were bad, and Boys’ Team FC fell by the wayside. At this point, Xolane’s life took a turn darker. He is reluctant to get into this area of his past, but admits free time at odd hours and bad friends introduced a new lifestyle of illicit substances into his life. Two years after beginning, he had to leave his job, unable to sustain the balance anymore.

He temped at a department store for three months, but afterwards he was back to spending all his days at home. But Xolane was not one to be a victim of his circumstances. He cleaned up and decided to occupy himself with his first love: football. He restarted Boys’ Team FC and began coaching with renewed purpose. It was hard without funding, but the enthusiasm and raw talent of the team allowed them to secure sponsorship from a friend of Xolane’s who ran a timber company. Xolane knew the next step to getting his team taken seriously was to make sure the coach, himself, was taken seriously. Fortunately for him, he soon caught the eye of a Sparrow staff member, Mr Musa. Mr Musa approached him and told him about the sports coaching programme at Sparrow FET College. Xolane took a chance, and he couldn’t be happier. “I am gaining so many opportunities here at Sparrow,” he says. In spite of a rocky start due to lack of finances for travel at the beginning of the programme, he has settled in well at the college, with the help of his dedicated lecturer and support of his fellow students. “I am planning to take part in the Booksmart for Rugby programme before I graduate,” he says. “I am greatly looking forward to that. I’m hoping to transfer the credit I earn here towards a sports diploma at a university, and take my career further.” At 22 years of age, Xolane feels he has already lived a lot, but knows he has a world’s worth of life waiting to be seized ahead of him. “Impossible is nothing,” he says thoughtfully. “In life, we all have dreams. Some things will hold us back, but never think twice about what you want, don’t discourage yourself. It will happen.”

If you’re interested in making your dreams come true, please book your assessment via 011 673 4410/4419.