Resistance Creates Stronger Steel.

Cycle 3 has repeated a theme that the Khayelitsha intake has experienced since cycle 1. What started as a simple 10months qualification in social auxiliary work and turned out to be a test of persistence, mental agility and determination.

When I reflect on my student’s journey in these trying times of COVID 19, I am reminded of the words of Victor Frankl. He noted that it was the physically strongest who survived the horrors of the concentration camps. It was those who retained a belief that there was still something more that they needed to achieve.

In this cycle, I have watched remarkable students confront one obstacle after another with a set determination to push through until they achieve what they started in 2020. Many of the challenges were not fair and required accepting the injustice of what they experienced. On the most part, they nevertheless remained steadfast in achieving their goal.

I think this class will make some of the best social auxiliary workers that CEFA has produced. Their learning and experience have been significantly more than they could have read in a book or achieved in an assignment.

This group of students have learned the meaning of mental agility. When confronted with almost impossible odds of achieving their practical hours, they have come up with innovative ideas—whether volunteering for community-based programs to negotiating to continue in their organizations even after the official placement ended.

In addition, there is a reason why their organizations were prepared to accommodate them. These students have learned to build a relationship with their mentors and prove themselves valuable to their respective organizations.

One of the many examples of this ability to problem solve was students who planned with their mentor to work in several organizations while being mentored at their original organization. Thereby not only achieving broad experience but also building relationships between NGO’s.

Lastly, a valuable lesson that each learner has taken away is taking ownership of their destiny. Those who work consistently hard have prevailed despite all the odds that were placed before them.