Witzenburg's newly qualified care workers graduate from their training course, which was funded by Perdekraal East Wind Farm as part of its youth opportunities programme
Youngsters and elderly with special care needs are enjoying a better quality of life with the support of newly qualified graduates of a vocational course funded by their local wind farm.
Twelve students from the Witzenberg area of South Africa’s Western Cape completed the six-month Care Workers Training Programme and seven have since been offered permanent work by schools and hospices in the community.
The accredited course, funded by Perdekraal East Wind Farm and implemented by Vrolike Vinkies Educare in consultation with Gratia Academic, was designed to develop both youth employment opportunities and care capacity.
Mainstream’s Jo-Anne Brown, Economic Development Manager at Perdekraal East, explained that the need was identified during the Covid-19 pandemic when there was a shortage of skilled staff to provide home-based care for children with disabilities.
She said: “As part of our focus, we provide assistance to community-based organisations in developing programmes for the youth. This initiative is especially tailored to help community members who are ill at home and choose not to stay in a hospital, as well as learners who need assistance at school.
“This support has had a huge impact in our community. In addition to caring for children, the care workers took part in the Covid-19 vaccine drive for sick and unregistered people.”
The programme, which began a year ago, included three months of theory study. Four of the students were then placed at local schools as Assistant Practitioners, while the rest of the group progressed to on-the-job training at other institutions in the area.
One of the graduates, Racheal Fortuin, said: “During the course, we got to learn how to put up a drip for a patient, take their blood pressure, change their urine catheter, treat bedsores and do first aid.
“I am grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity because I would not have been able to afford a course like this otherwise. My experience with this programme not only gave me an education, but it also gave me a job after being unemployed for some time.”
Perdekraal East Wind Farm
Perdekraal East became the first wind farm in Bid Window 4,of the f Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) to reach commercial operation. The wind farm was built within 27 months even with the disruption of the Covid-19 lockdown.
A notable achievement was the development of a domestic supply chain with more than 48% of the wind farm’s content being manufactured in South Africa, including its 48 turbine towers, a 500 MVA mega transformer and other components previously only available as imports.
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