Kolping SA News
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To date this year 160 WOP learners have graduated in a variety occupational skills courses.
In April the Kolping Society WOP awarded 90 students with certificates and another 70 were awarded in June.
Our Work Opportunity Programme (WOP) focuses on the development and empowerment of unemployed youth. The programme starts with a 13-day Life Skills programme, whereafter the learners follow a chosen occupational skills course.
The Life Skills component includes topics such as self-esteem, relationships tools, communication, personal finance, career development and HIV/Aids.
Ongoing assistance are given to the graduates and with our support more than half of them have actively been to job interviews and many have since found employement.
The June graduation ceremony was held on National Youth day, 16 June at the Kolping Training Centre. This celebration was a relevant expression of our mission to develop the youth of South Africa.
In addition to the WOP training programme, we have also assisted 328 youths in a variety of ways, based on their individual needs.
“We were all reminded that education and skills development is the key to success and achievement.” WOP Coordinator
All our learners felt proud in their accomplishments, and many remarked that “they thought they would never achieve anything in life, with the Kolping certificates and experience they now know that anything is possible.”
This affirms the inspirational words of Fr. Adolph Kolping: “We can achieve a lot, only if we really want to; we can achieve great things, if competent forces unite.”
In the presence of a packed Sunday mass at the parish of Emdeni, history was made on Sunday 16 February when the first Kolping Kamily (KF) was inaugurated in Gauteng in 62 years.
Led by dynamic parish priest, Fr. Bernard Sompane SCJ, and the chairman of the Johannesburg KF, Eckehart Seidler – the 21 new members were declared a family. They are now part of the over 400 000 Kolping members in over 60 countries.
The official Kolping flag was solemnly blessed and handed to them, and a letter of welcome from the international chaplain was read.
Interesting it is that all the members were unemployed and somewhat rudderless when we engaged with them 4 years agon. They joined the WOP Programme under the guidance of Beatrix van Rooyen (lovingly know as aunty B) and her team.
It was an inspiration to see life and hope written all over their faces. They are all now feasibly employed, and they have found their way in life.
The existing members of the Zandspruit KF together with an adition 21 new members were inaugurated and founded the Kolping Family Zandspruit in March. The ceremony was conducted by the regional chaplain, Fr. Emil Blaser OP and chairman, Eckehart Seidler during the Sunday mass at St. Bonifatius Church in Honeydew.
After a delay in starting, due to transport, the congregation swelled to one of the largest Kolping functions we have ever had. The presence of Kolping National Coordinator, Anna Oppel from Cape Town, and Volker Greulich from Kolping Germany added to the significance of the event.
The procession wass led by the flags of the already existing families and the unfurled flag of the new family. After the homily the 21 new members were inaugurated and given their personal lapel medals. They then greeted the inaugurators with the traditional handshake over the flag. The inauguration, blessing and unfurling of the new family flag of Zandspruit then took place.
The programme included a Family Foundation workshop forming part the 13-day life skills training programme they attended. The trainig was facilitated by Nomiki and Jenny Boltman and presented in Uitenhage.
The family has not yet been inaugurated, but a date will be set soon.
The new members will be trained and developed in a range of skills including procedures, governance of cooperatives, project planning and management.
The group have already started a soup kitchen and are speaking to member of their community to gain support for the project.
Skills development and up-skilling opportunities will also be offered to the group.