Floor Installation Students Give Back

“Although there is often sadness and disappointment at The Johannesburg Children’s Home, there is also joy and hope. There is a constant renewal of all that is good in life and windows of hope are always there to open and look out of.” – Joan Rubinstein, Johannesburg Children’s Home Director, 1983 -1994.


As the world continued to celebrate the life of the great Nelson Mandela in the month of July, on 19 July 2016, the Sparrow FET College’s Installation of Floor Coverings students dedicated their time to helping renew the Johannesburg Children’s Home. Through the invite of one of the FET College’s corporate funders, Kevin Bates, the students spent two days installing carpets at the child and youth care center.

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“It’s amazing that the whole city is supporting those in need. It’s even more incredible that we have these young people who also face challenges coming here to give back and help those in need,” says Johannesburg Children’s Home Director, Annette Brokensha.


Despite this being an opportunity to do good, it was also great practical experience for the students, which in turn boosted their morale. “It was great for the students to come here and get some real work experience. They also got to see one of the former students working at Kevin Bates, I hope that will help motivate and encourage them,” says Installation of Floor Coverings Facilitator, Wayne Hendricks.

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Thabiso Mbele training the students.

Thabiso Mbele, who is now a permanent employee at Kevin Bates was part of the Installation of Floor Coverings  programme in 2013.  “It’s a great feeling for me to be able to help the students that are coming behind me because I’ve been down that road.  I’ve realised how important it is to have someone with experience giving you a hand. I’m contributing to helping improve their chances of getting employed,” says Mbele.

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FET student promoted to Assistant Store Manager

As the South African unemployment rate rose to 25.5% in the third quarter of 2015, the Sparrow FET College continues to produce stories of hope. The FET College has managed to defy the odds against tough economic conditions.

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After failing his matric, Shadrack Dhlangamandla, like many disillusioned youth in South Africa, started feeling like his future was doomed. That was until a friend recommended the Installation of Floor Coverings program at the Sparrow FET College. After passing his assessment, he was enrolled into the Floor Installation Coverings program in January 2014.

Shadrack - Turner Peirson

He underwent six months training at the College and was placed at Turner Peirson in Booysens, Johannesburg. After displaying massive commitment, Turner Peirson employed him as a Fitter in July 2015. “I’m happy that I enrolled into the program, it gave me hope that I can still do something with my life,” Shadrack explains.


Hardly six months in, the 21 year old has been promoted to Assistant Store Manager.  “Since he arrived here, he has been very enthusiastic; he is eager and has very good nature,” says Turner Peirson’s Quantity Surveyor, Mario Selibas. Sounding quite excited, Shadrack adds, “I was a very hard worker, I knew what I wanted and I’m very excited that they chose me.”

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Growing up with a single mother taking care of five children, Shadrack has never had it easy.  His commitment and determination is motivated by the need to step in as the second bread winner at home. “I’m happy about that experience that I have gained and I am also happy that I can help my mother at home,” Shadrack says.

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The Sparrow FET College is committed to ensuring that young people gain access to quality training and education, providing them with ability to create a livelihood for themselves and their families. This is made possible through developing and strengthening partnerships with industry payers like Turner Peirson, who give these young people real world experience and opportunities.

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