Story of a volunteer from Mitchell's Plain

I would like to share with you the story of Kate James. An ordinary young women and like so many potential volunteers I meet, an unemployed women trying to find her way into employment again.
Finding employment is a struggle that many Capetonians face but Kate decided to do volunteer work to keep her mind occupied. She walked into the Volunteer centre satellite office, not certain about anything in her life at the time, not certain as to what she would like to do either. I decided to send her to an Educare centre with the words, “Give it a go, perhaps you would like it, but if you don’t, please come back to me and I will find you something else to get involved in.”

That was more than a year ago. Kate is now an employee at the “Nur” Educare Centre I referred her to. I spoke to Kate a while ago and she is a very happy and centered woman, compared to when I met her. Kate shared the following, " I worked in a factory before and it was okay, but these children have become my life, to think I wasted all my time in a factory.” She smile gently at me and continues:"I started working with children, not because I chose to, I think it chose me and the Volunteer Centre was the vehicle to bring me here.”

Kate is also studying to work with grade “R” children, but misses the children when she has to go to class. "I enjoy myself especially with the studying, I would never have thought that I would live my dream, I am here to stay”

Kate’s colleague Niesa, the principal of the Educare centre, had this to say about her. "Kate started out as a volunteer and the first week I knew that I was going to employ her. A person that is willing to give her time to HIV/AIDS children, in my book is an angel. I could never let her go as she will be a great teacher.” “She has an empathy not just for children, but also for older persons, she’s interested in her work, would always go the extra mile, and she loves these children like each of them is her own. I cannot ask for more.”

This is just one of the many stories happening in this dynamic place called Mitchell’s Plain, where ordinary people are doing extra-ordinary things, and making a difference in their community.