Mature learner keen to repay wind farm’s faith in preschooling dream
Veronice Cloete is determined that COVID-19 disruptions in South Africa won’t keep her from a new career improving young lives in her wind farm community – having herself seized an unexpected chance for learning.
The 35-year-old mother of two girls, like many in the Northern Cape town of Concordia, didn’t have the luxury of being able to continue her studies beyond High School.
But she never let go of her dream of qualifying as an Early Childhood Development practitioner, even when finances again prevented her from taking up a place at a training academy in 2019.
The NQF Level 4 course in preschool education suddenly become a possibility again when the nearby Kangnas Wind Farm launched a study support fund. And after winning one of the two bursaries on offer, Veronice quickly made an impression with her college tutors.
Although joining three-months into the term, long hours and hard work saw her catch up with the rest of her class before another obstacle suddenly stopped her studies.
Veronice explains: "Due to the COVID-19 pandemic I have been unable to complete my NQF Level 4 ECD course as we are unable to attend contact sessions with our facilitator. The graduation ceremony has been shifted out to next year, so I will now need to wait until 2021 to complete and graduate with NQF Level 5.
"Our Level 5 modules would have commenced in April, but due to COVID-19 we were unable to start and my plans to start working as an ECD practitioner have been postponed indefinitely."
Far from being disheartened, though, Veronice is keen to repay the wind farm’s faith in her abilities and ambition.
Waiting to hear when her classes will resume, she said: "Kangnas Wind Farm plays a big role in my life because due to their support I am on my way to becoming an ECD practitioner, which is why I am extremely grateful."
Veronice’s tenacity and work ethic has earned high praise from her Mainstream facilitator at Kangnas Wind Farm, who describes her as very thorough and diligent.
Economic Development Manager Cheryl Persensie said: "Early 2019, through a formal call for applications that form part of our Socio-Economic Development Programme, our advertisements targeted a number of Namaqualand communities.
"We were delighted to announce bursary funding for Veronice and one other applicant, as part of our early spend budget."
- Kangnas Wind Farm is currently being constructed by Mainstream for our Africa joint venture, Lekela Power. When operational later this year, it will have the capacity to generate around 563,500 MWh of clean renewable energy per year, powering up to 120,000 South African homes. It will also eliminate approximately 550,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year when compared to traditional fossil fuel power plants.