The Hawston “BE THE DIFFERENCE” project is the end result of one community member who decided to take the bull by the horns and DO SOMETHING!

Carol Gillion, a well-known and much loved member of the Hawston community understands the complex realities of unemployed youths in a secluded environment with limited resources.

Carol has been the subject advisor at the Western Cape Department of Education district office in the Overberg region for the last five years. Before that she acted as Head of the Department at Hawston Secondary School for 13 years after teaching for 10 years in several schools throughout the Cape Winelands and the Overberg region. Altogether Carol has served 29 years in Education, proof of her dedication to our youth.

In June 2014 Carol decided that something had to be done to support unemployed matric graduates in their search for employment. She started a platform on social media and earmarked fifty unemployed young adults in the Hawston and Mount Pleasant communities who could potentially be part of a sponsored training programme that would empower them personally and professionally. Together with the sponsor, the Johann & Gaynor Rupert Foundation, she had informal interviews with all the applicants and twenty five enthusiastic learners signed up for the first module offered by CEFA from March 22 to March 24, 2017.

According to Carol, who resides in Hawston, these communities are riddled with poverty, unemployment, gangsterism and numerous social and economic problems. Resources and opportunities are extremely limited, especially to young adults who have no or few employable skills and nowhere else to go. Her passion for education and development of the youth impelled her to initiate a project that could support and motivate these young people. She firmly believes in the hidden talent amongst the young people who survive in very difficult circumstances and she is determined to make a difference in their lives and empower the whole community in the end.

Carol has had many successes in her career as educator which she ascribes to her strong leadership and management skills. She gained valuable experience in her years as educator, having taught from grade 1 to grade 12 in various schools with contrasting socio-economic circumstances and sees obstacles as challenges to be effectively managed. She is very determined, diligent and enthusiastic about education and strives to be a positive role model by mirroring her excellent interpersonal relationships with all who cross her path. She is not only passionate about empowering the youth but also about empowering herself academically and professionally. In doing so she is a valuable inspiring asset in her community.

Carol Gillion is an example to all and truly lives the “BE THE DIFFERENCE” project that she initiated, arranged and manages. CEFA is proud to be associated with this initiative, true to our vision of attaining a better life for all