Tag Archives: Success Stories

Volunteering enabled Sparrow FET student, Thapelo Motsa, to prove his commitment to the industry and has been offered a 4 year contract to train as a technician, which will change his life.

Thapelo Motsa, fresh out of school and the first student from Sparrow FET College (Further Educational Training) to be offered an apprenticeship at Lindsey Saker.

Thapelo Motsa left school in 2015 and had no idea what he wanted to do with his life:

“I felt so lost after finishing my matric…Going to university was not a liable option for me due to financial issues that my mother and I experienced. Sometimes I would have to talk 15km from my home in Soweto to get to school when money for transport ran out.”

In 2016 Thapelo registered at Sparrow FET College in Sophiatown to study Automotive Repair & Maintenance (NQF Level 2).

“I had my doubts about at the beginning of the course but when I started the practical work placement, all the theory and learning at the college fell into place.”

Thapelo completed his six month work placement in January 2017 at Lindsey Saker, which is is one of South Africa’s oldest car brands. After he finished his course, Thapelo did not have a job lined up, but his strong work ethic and determination did not let this negatively impact his life.

“There would be no benefit if I had stayed at home, so I decided to stay on and volunteer at Lindsey Saker. I managed to save some of my stipends from Sparrow FET College so I could afford the transport costs.”

For a month and a half, Thapelo volunteered at the company and impressed his manager through his work ethic, enthusiasm to learn and determination to succeed. Last week, Thapelo was delighted to receive a permanent contract for a four year apprenticeship to qualify as a technician.

Sparrow FET College was a good transition from high school, to college to the workplace. I would advise anyone who has matriculated or anyone who is unsure what to do, to consider all your options. Sparrow FET College provides a great opportunity that other colleges and universities don’t provide, which is the the work experience; it is so vital in today’s economy!

Some of my friends who matriculated from school in 2015 are still unsure what to do, however one friend has just registered to study Professional Cookery at Sparrow FET College!

If you would like to find out more about the opportunity to receive a fully funded bursary to study Automotive Repair & Maintenance (NQF Level 2) then we want to hear from you.
admissions@sparrowschools.co.za / +27116734410 or 4419

“ I want to learn more about teaching methods and child development so I can go back to the community where I was brought up and share what I have learnt.”

In July 2016, Nomsa Natacia Luthuli, a bright and young lady who grew up in Tsakane Township, located on the East Rand began a new chapter in her life. She signed up at the Sparrows FET (Further Educational Training) College to study Early Childhood Development (ECD).

Nomsa heard about the opportunity to study for free and gain invaluable practical workplace experience through a friend who worked at Sparrow and had asked Nomsa to support Sparrow by taking part in the Spinathon and 947 ‘Walk the Talk’ in aid of Sparrow Schools.

Nomsa had previously been running a catering business, which she stopped in November 2015 and although her love of cooking remains, she  decided to follow her lifelong interest in childhood development.

“Children express themselves differently where I am from and I want to learn more about teaching and child development so I can go back to the community where I was brought up and share what I have learnt.”

After completing six months of theory at Sparrow FET College, Nomsa started her work placement at Cubby House Preschool. This friendly preschool, is a new centre, which opened in January 2016 catering for children from the age of 2-6 years. Six weeks in she reflects on her experience, highlighting the importance of encouraging children to use their words and express themselves confidently.

“You have to choose your words and the way you say them so carefully, as it can really impact the child’s confidence and the way they express themselves.”

It was inspiring to watch Nomsa working with a 4 year old girl who has attended Cubby House since January 2016. The girl, who lives with her grandmother, did not speak any English and was very shy but since attending Cubby House and receiving 1-on-1 attention, her language development, gross motor skills and learning of colours, letters and numbers have improved dramatically.

The manager of Cubby House, Sharon Konstantinou spoke about how impressed she has been with Nomsa fitting into the preschool in such a short space of time:

“I don’t have to tell her what to do, she assesses a situation, uses her initiative and is always happy to step in.”

Although this is the first time that Sparrow’s FET candidate have been placed at Cubby House, Sparrow have previous connections with Cubby House’s sister organisation, Nic’s House, which supports children with special needs. Two students who completed their studies at Sparrow FET College have now been employed full time at Nic’s House.

Nomsa plans to start a weekend childcare business, as she believes there is a need with lots of parents working on the weekends and struggling to find good quality childcare. She hopes to go back to the community where she grew up and share the teaching methods that she has learnt to support the confidence and development of children from Tsakane Township.
‘A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.’ (Henry Adams)

“Sparrow Foundation School helped my son so much, that he hates the weekend and all he says is, “I want to go to school today.”

I don’t think we have ever seen anyone with such a big smile,  early on Monday mornings,  like the smile on little Siyabonga Nkutha’s mom, Nozizwe’s face.

Sparrow Foundation School welcomed Siyanbonga to Grade 1 at the end of January, a few weeks after the rest of the learners had started the new academic school year

As a shy boy with autism, Siyanbonga had not been able to find a school that could support his special needs. But, one month in, we have all been surprised and delighted by how well he has settled into his new school.

“My son now hates the weekend, he always says  “I want to go to school today” but I have to explain to him that school is closed on weekends.

“At first Siyabonga used to cry as I left him to go to school, he was so anxious! However, a week later, his behaviour changed! He now plays with other children and tells me how much he loves to go to his beautiful school,” explains Nozizwe.

Siyabonga was referred to Sparrow Foundation School through a play therapy clinic in Sophiatown, where he was diagnosed with autism.  He previously attended a local school, which specialised in supporting children with ADHD but was not given the attention that he needed. Nozizwe explained how her son was often not in the classroom, as he was teased for being different and could not cope in a mainstream school.

We didn’t understand what was wrong with him and I had no idea what autism was.” Nozizwe told us that she found the Autism South Africa website extremely useful in providing her with information on autism. Autism, as defined by Autism South Africa (A;SA) is:

…a developmental disability… people with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most other people. The learning, thinking, and problem-solving abilities of people with ASD can range from gifted to severely impaired.

Still a relatively unknown disability, Autism makes it difficult for parents, schools and communities to support children with special learning and social needs. However there is a lot of support available. 

Sparrow Schools, specialises in, and provides a safe and friendly environment for children with learning disabilities to attend school. The small classroom size and the learner support unit (LSU), which supports the child holistically, can provide additional assistance to help with remedial educational needs.

If you would like to find out more about your child attending Sparrow Foundation School, please call +27 11 482 3520.

“This job is awesome!”

These were the words that Melanie Joseph, a recent graduate from Sparrows FET College said as I asked her how she was finding her new position at the Sparrow Foundation School.

“It is challenging but exciting, and every day is completely different!

It is hard to believe that this young, confident lady had previously been unemployed for over two years, as she spoke so passionately about her current work situation.

Melanie heard about the opportunity to study for free from her sister in law and applied straight away. After passing the assessment in August 2015, Melanie was accepted onto the End User IT Programme in November 2015. In Melanie’s class, 17 of the 26 students had a physical disability, which ranged from students in a wheelchair, to students who had hearing and speech impairments. This is what made the experience for Melanie so unique:

“We were like a family… I helped the other students with disabilities but by the end of the course we were all helping each other!”

Melanie and her cohort spent six months from November 2015 to May 2016 at Sparrow FET College learning about different Computer programmes ranging from Word, Excel and Powerpoint. The second part of the course, the students spent their time in a work environment to gain practical experience in the office and put to practice everything that they learnt. Melanie was put forward by the facilitator, Mr Banda for the role as HR assistant and receptionist at Sparrow School’s Head Office, based in Melville. This proved to be a challenging role, working alongside Sparrow’s HR Manager who has the demanding job of dealing with over 100 staff in the organisation.

“Romela, my mentor, taught me so much! It was also a great experience to work alongside Jackie Gallagher, the founder of the organisation.”

After continuing to work hard and support the staff at head office, Melanie was promoted to a new position based at the Sparrow Foundation School in December 2016. Her new role involves supporting the Principal of the Foundation school, the teachers and dealing with parents of the children at the remedial school.

The other students from Melanie’s course are also excelling. Read Africa’s story here.

“They are all working at their placements, which have been extended or they have gone onto further studying with stipends. Sparrow FET has opened the door to opportunities for all of us! I would recommend Sparrow FET to anyone!”

Sparrow FET College are currently looking for disabled, learners from rural areas and Coloured or Indian learners to attend the college. Sparrow FET supports free education by providing stipends to students to study. We promote employment in South Africa by linking students to the workplace. Our job coaches and Learner Support Unit at Sparrow, provide holistic assistance to students, as we are passionate about tackling youth unemployment and promoting skills development.

If you are between the ages of 18 and 35, have passed Grade 12 (Grade 9 for Installation of Floor Coverings),you may qualify for FULLY funded learnership.The college provides SETA-accredited full qualification and skills programmes that are rated between NQF Levels 2 and 5.

Automotive Repair & Maintenance NQF 2

Assistant Chef NQF 2

Business Administration NQF 2

Early Childhood Development NQF 4

End-User Computing NQF 3

Installation of Floor Coverings NQF 2

Professional Cookery NQF 4

Sports Coaching NQF 4

Fluid Power Hose Assembly NQF 2 or 3 (Skills Program)

Contact us today:

Tel: +2711 673 4410 /19  Email: academics@sparrowschools.co.za

We are still reaching out to companies to accommodate our learners for their work experience placements. All students have stipends, so there is no requirement for the company to pay a salary. For further information, contact marywebber@sparrowschools.co.za