“You’re more than you think you are”

by Brenda Erasmus, DevTraining Co-ordinator

One of the most significant turning points I remember from DevTraining, was how participatiion in the BSW Development Practitioners Training Course helped one educator to face and conquer a phobia that had little to do with extra-murals or community hubs – or even schools.

When she started on our course, she was very quiet and inconspicuous. She hardly spoke and when she did, it was in a very quiet, small voice. I somehow discovered that one of her biggest fears was driving her car beyond the confines of home and school in Gugulethu. To get to the training which was far away from her home she would drive at a snail’s pace and with extreme anxiety.

Because EMEP’s our training modules take place at far-flung venues like the Monkey Valley Resort in Noordhoek, or the Houw Hoek Inn near Grabouw, she found that she was forced to drive long distances and over mountain passes. Each time she attended a training, she conquered her fear of driving to strange places little by little. She said that she did it only because she so much wanted to be part of the learning community of the other trainees from the other partner schools.

At the end of the third module, she shared the following with me, “I am so confident now that I have conquered my fear, I actually drove all the way from Cape Town to Durban over the Drakensberg!”

This brave person is none other than Nokuthula Ndimande, an educator at Hlengisa Primary in Gugulethu.

In follow- up meetings I saw how she blossomed. She was so motivated and had really come into her own – not only in improved classroom relationships, but also in coordinating the dance extra-mural at her school where her school has won a great reputation for their dance prowess. This extra-mural dance call is not only offered to the school’s own learners, but is open to all the kids in the community who want to be a part.

This story is testimony to our EMDP course that puts a spotlight on personal development of our participants, challenging them to take a good look at themselves and make the mental shift to know that – They Are More Than They Think They Are.