In February 2016, a group of 30 child and youth care workers began a one year Level 4 accredited HWSETA course in Child and Youth Care Work with Abraham Kriel Childcare. The course was met with excitement as well as apprehension by the child and youth care workers who signed up for it. They did not know what to expect and if they would be able to complete the year long course. Students were expected to attend one early morning class weekly in Langlaagte at Abraham Kriel Childcare’s head office and put in 1 650 hours of learning and practical work. The course costs R15 000 per learner and is conducted by Ms Maretha van Zyl and Ms Sarah Papi, who have 30+ years in collective experience in the field of child and youth care.
As with any new venture, we experienced a few hiccups here and there but the first year of the course was a success. The first group completed the course in February 2017, although the moderation and verification process for this group took a long time. Students received their accredited certificates in December 2017.
Abraham Kriel Childcare and the respective child and youthcare centres were extremely happy with the growth of the child and youth care workers. They were also proud of themselves and reported that the growth, knowledge and skills gained had changed their approach towards the children they care for. This is what some of the students had to say:
- “Thank you so much for making me realise that what I was doing before was not relevant to my profession. I pray that all child and youth care workers around the world receive the same training as we did in order for them to be on the same track of knowledge”.
- “We learnt a lot and the Abraham Kriel notes were excellent”.
- “The knowledge that we received was remarkable. I will use it all to help the children that I am working with”.
- “The facilitators made us believe in ourselves, to be proud of ourselves and to love our job”.
- “Thank you! The course has opened my eyes to everything I did not understand. I am proud of who I am now because I am doing my work professionally. Keep doing it for others!”
“After two years we can proudly say that we have two groups that have completed the training. We are currently training two more groups that are expected to complete in March and August 2018. And a new group is expected to start the course on 8 February 2018”, said Maretha van Zyl.
Abraham Kriel Childcare is thankful that it is able to inspire and educate childcare workers to make a positive impact in the lives of the many children they care for in residential care settings and in community care work programmes.