Daring to Dream about Possibilities

Posted on 30 August 2018

Mediclinic recently collaborated with NGO Partners for Possibility to host a successful “Dare to Dream” career day exhibition at Cloetesville High School, near Stellenbosch. This partnership is part of an ongoing initiative to align corporate leaders with school principals, in order to address challenges in the school.

Mediclinic Southern Africa Business Partner, Deon Myburgh, explains what has already been done, “After consulting with the leadership team at the school we have identified a number of areas affecting the security of the school and where teachers can be assisted in their work with the children. One thing that was also highlighted by the teachers, is the perceived lack of intent to pursue tertiary education by many of the learners, with less than 5% enrolling after matric.”

To engage with students and to encourage a broader scope of opportunity when choosing a fulfilling career, Mediclinic conceptualised a career day for students, where representatives of more than 30 careers within the organisation spent time with scholars explaining the different fields to choose from, as well as potential subject choices and areas of opportunity.

Each group of students were welcomed by a business leader, giving insight into their story of overcoming challenges before setting out a challenge of their own for the scholars. Germaine Brinkhuis, the owner of Mantella, an IT support service company, took the theme of Dare to Dream and used this to identify how each student can change their future with a few small decisions and an open attitude. “Without a dream, you are like a horse with blinkers, caught in a vision of gangsterism and poor circumstances. But if you remove your blinkers and see the opportunities and diamonds lying alongside the road you will be able to build on your dreams and realise more of what you want to achieve.”

In a community challenged by unemployment and gangster activity, it is essential that the next generation of children step out and chase down the opportunities given to them. Germaine went on to give them a roadmap, “Find a dream and use it to create a vision of what you want to achieve, then use that vision to drive your decisions and your actions until you are able to realise that dream. Each of you is a brand, how you behave and how you carry yourself is what people will see, so choose this moment to decide how you want your future to develop.”

Learners were certainly encouraged, discovering careers they had previously not even considered. A young learner, Mishqa Gezwint (Gr 12) expressed interest in interior design – a key element to any new hospital design and layout. Her previous scope had simply been around marketing or administrative roles, but the creativity of the career interested her.

A few more were inspired by the role ER24 plays in the community, with several students expressing their intention to investigate a career as a paramedic. Reagan Adams, a grade 11 student at the school was most interested in the option for nursing after having discovered his interest through series like Grey’s Anatomy. “I appreciate the effort that a corporate-like Mediclinic is making to give us more insight into what is available to us.”

Mediclinic has enrolled more than 4 000 students over the last five years in their training facilities across South Africa, generating new nurses and paramedics able to support families while providing a key service to the community.

ICT, a growing sector worldwide, captured much of the imagination. Young Xavier Sindi (Gr 12) could even visualise his future “I can see myself being successful in this career”. He already has plans to study at Northlink and is quite keen to work part-time to support this choice.

Cloetesville High School principal, Dorian Meyer emphasised the need for students to act and own their future, “Let this be an opportunity that helps you to move forward and show you what is possible.”

Students were provided with a number of stationery items from sponsors and partners as well as a handbook containing the featured careers, together with subject choices, potential study courses to access the field and potential employment environments to help them understand what the career may demand of each of them.

Deon Myburgh summarised the initiative quite succinctly when he said, “Our partnership is all about giving hope to the community and children of Cloetesville. Inspiring students to see what is out there beyond their current situation and Mediclinic is invested in this community as it lies on the doorstep of our Head Office, with many of our staff calling this community home.”

Partners for Possibility is an NGO based in Bellville and has recently been recognised as one of six winners in the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) awards, which recognises and promotes innovative projects across the world that aim to address challenges in education.

Published in Business