In an era where gender equality and female empowerment are gaining significant traction, strategic partnerships between like-minded organisations can be a powerful catalyst for change. A great example of female empowerment and the importance of equal opportunity is the partnership that exists between The Love Trust and Realema.
The Love Trust is a not-for-profit organisation that was founded in 2009, with the mission to deliver excellent quality Christian education to vulnerable children. To achieve this mandate, they established The Nokuphila Teacher Training Academy (NTTA) that trains and develops prospective teachers to become accredited Early Childhood Development (ECD) teachers through NQF level 4 and 5 qualifications.
Their partner, Realema, also an NGO, offers full bursaries to candidates that wish to study teaching. The bursaries that Realema offers its recipients are fully comprehensive, providing a holistic experience. Perhaps the largest benefit to the Realema bursary is their school partnership network that they use to provide their students with practical work experience.
Finding Synergy – This year, The Love Trust has partnered with Realema taking on interns at the Nokuphila School, in Thembisa. As part of their offering, the interns are provided with accommodation, laptops, and academic support.
Realema has developed a layered mentoring system that aligns with The Love Trust’s approach of comprehensive care. By seeing to the interns’ academic needs, as well as providing financial support, a stable home base and career mentors, this partnership affords its beneficiaries a realistic glimpse into the life of a teacher, whilst allowing them the opportunity to complete their studies.
Positive Partnerships – Through valuable partnerships like this, both NGOs are able to create a greater social impact in local communities, and set the stage for lasting and measurable change.
Thobekile Moyo is an experienced teacher who oversees the interns during their time at the Nokuphila School. As she aptly said, “Teachers are mentors in their own rights.” Being aware of the important role that teachers play in society, the teachers at the Nokuphila School have undergone their own mentorship training programme that allows them to provide the interns from Realema with the support they need.
The training details the technical aspects of the internship and what is required from the mentors. More importantly, it details the qualities and characteristics needed to become an impactful educator.
Hope for the next generation of teachers – The programme is being well-received by the interns, with current intern, Millenium Monyama, advocating for how enriching the internship has been. Monyama feels that Realema and Nokuphila have given her a second chance at pursuing her studies to become a teacher.
Monyama was pursuing a diploma to become a teacher after completing her matric in 2017, but was forced to leave her studies due to financial difficulties. She has remained fervent in her love for teaching, which started in high school when she attended a micro-scholarship, run by the U.S embassy, between her Grade 10 and 12 years. She says the combined academic and psychosocial support provided by the organisations has really inspired her to dig deep and work hard. “Their belief in me has been a constant source of motivation and has pushed me. I have gained valuable hands-on experience that has further solidified my love for education.”
Monyama is enthusiastic about working as an intern at the Nokuphila School, taking particular joy in extracurricular activities and games that entice the learners’ sense of fun. It is clear that the joy of learning is being felt by the learners, interns and mentors alike, and that the future generations of interns have much to look forward to.
The Love Trust is dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty through education. We work with change-agents in South Africa and abroad to make a lasting impact on vulnerable communities across the country.