Sentinel Primary – parents working with purpose
If the children at Sentinel Primary are looking forward to the school holidays, Wayne Vlotman is looking even more forward! Wayne used to be employed full time in the fish factories and on the boats, until the collapse of the fishing industry saw him, like many others, unemployed.
Wayne has come through many personal hardships including addiction, to find a new way for himself in life. Although unemployed, he helps out every day at Cares Rehabilitation Centre in Hout Bay, preparing food in their soup kitchen. He is also a counsellor, sharing his story with others in a similar situation, mentoring, guiding and giving hope.
“I have walked a long journey back from the edge of self destruction” he shares with us. “There is something about looking into the eyes of your hungry child and knowing you cannot provide even their basic needs, that cuts to the very heart of a man. I have joined the Link of Love programme at my kids’ school, to earn some money, but mostly to contribute and to feel worthwhile. Give me something to fix up. Give me something to repair. Any job that involves working with my hands and I am a happy and proud man”.
Wayne will be employed over the holidays to sand down and varnish the school desks, leaving them graffiti free and ready for a brand new start to 2014. Like the brand new start Wayne has found for himself. And the brand new start he hopes to inspire in others at Cares. We salute your courage Wayne!
Rachel Snyders was born to work with children. She has worked at Best Buddies in Hout Bay as well as her local crèche for several years. So when Sentinel Principal, Amanda Engelbrect was looking for a classroom assistant, Rachel was a natural choice.
Rachel has been taking care of her husband who suffered a stroke earlier this year but is recovering slowly. She is excited about being back at work, doing what she loves best…..teaching young children!
“I can slot in anywhere where they need me if a teacher is absent. Whether I am helping the kids with homework or playing the recorder, I just love it all. I am so grateful to be on the Link of Love programme, helping out here at my kids’ school.”
When asked about what she dreams of in her own life her answer is immediate “I would love to study Educare. But that will cost me just over R600 a month for 18 months. With my husband and I both being unemployed it is not possible right now. I have to find a way. It is my life calling to work with kids and especially kids who really need my help”.