‘Geroep om te dien’

Hoe voel die maatskaplike werkers van môre oor die probleme van vandag? Wat motiveer hulle en speel geloof ’n rol in hulle loopbaankeuse? Kerkbode het met sewe studente aan Hugenote Kollege op Wellington gesels waar hulle besig is met ’n Baccalaureus in Maatskaplike werk.


Zaneta Erasmus

“Ek het ’n groot passie vir kin­­ders, vroue en geestesgesondheid. Ek het ’n dans­agtergrond en is ’n gekwalifiseer­de dans­­­onderwyseres en wil graag beweging kombineer met terapie in die toekoms.”

Kerkbode: Hoe sou jy jou roeping vir maatskaplike werk beskryf?
“Ek het ’n paar jaar gelede as au pair vir ’n familie hier in Suid-Afrika gewerk. Die familie het bestaan uit ’n ma, ouma en ’n 6-jarige dogtertjie. Die ma is gedu­rende my tyd met die familie, met kan­ker gediagnoseer. Sy is uiteindelik oorle­de en die gesin het besluit om na Austra­lië terug te keer. Ek het die impak van trauma op ’n gesin beleef en was vir hulle gedurende hierdie tyd ’n steunpilaar. Ek het besef dat dit is wat ek wil doen, men­se ondersteun, leiding gee waar nodig en dalk net help om omstandighede ’n bietjie ligter te maak waar ek kan.”

KB: Watter maatskaplike probleem sou jy sê is die grootste in Suid-Afrika?
“Werkloosheid. Dit het ’n rimpeleffek na ander maatskaplike probleme.”

KB: Hoe dink jy het die Koronavirus-pandemie maatskaplike probleme en werk in SA beïnvloed?
“Uit ’n ekonomiese oogpunt moes baie besighede hulle deure toemaak. Dit lei tot ’n groot styging in die werkloosheidsyfer. Die pandemie stel verder die strukturele ongelykhede bloot wat die gemeenskappe affekteer. Huishoudelike geweld is aan die toeneem vandat inperking ingestel is. Mense moet vir hulle gesinne sorg, maar daar is geen inkomste nie, wat kan lei tot spanning en konflik in die gesin. Geestesgesondheid is een van die belangrikste aspekte wat aandag gedurende die pandemie verg. Hierdie is ’n tyd van onsekerheid en talle mense en familielede word deur die virus geraak. Mense mag dalk meer stres ervaar, depressief wees en angstig voorkom gedurende hierdie tyd.”


Schalk van der Spuy

“Baie van my familie is in die Suid-Afrikaanse Poli­sie­diens (SAPD) en Korrektiewe dienste. Dit het ’n invloed gehad op hoe ek die wêreld sien. Dit het ’n sterk gevoel van geregtigheid en regverdigheid in my geskep. Ek het ook gevind dat mense maklik hulle gevoelens en probleme met my deel.”

Kerkbode: Wat het jou geïnspireer om maatskaplike werk te studeer?
“Ek wou altyd iets doen waar ’n mens werk met mense en mense help. Toe ek by Hugenote Kollege goedgekeur word om die BSW-kursus in 2019 te doen, was dit die perfekte geleentheid om te doen wat ek wil doen. Ek was nog altyd gefassineer deur hoekom mense sekere dinge doen. Maatskaplike werk is ’n baie goeie geleentheid om ’n verskil ten goede in mense se lewe te maak.”

KB: Hoe sou jy jou roeping vir maatskaplike werk beskryf?
“Voordat ek maatskaplike werk begin studeer het, het ek eers in die Inligtings­tegnologiese (IT) rigting geswot, maar deur die tyd wat ek IT geswot het, het ek besef dat dit nie die beroep is waar ek hoort nie. Dit was te onpersoonlik en alhoewel ek mense kon help met hulle rekenaars, kon ek hulle nie help op die manier waarop ek regtig wou nie.”

KB: Watter maatskaplike probleem sou jy sê is die grootste in Suid-Afrika?
“Werkloosheid, gesinsgeweld, kinderverwaarlosing, drank- en dwelmmisbruik en emosionele onvolwassenheid.”

KB: Waar sal jy glad nie wil werk nie?
“Ek sal nie in die tronke wil werk nie.”


Nalene Truter

“I want to work with cancer patients, including palliative patients. The environment and energy around these people are so positive, largely because of their faith and because they live so close to God.”

Kerkbode: Wat het jou geïnspireer om maatskaplike werk te studeer?
“I obtained a BA Degree in Psychology in 1991, after which I started my professional career at a multi-national company in 1992. I enjoyed my 26 years within the marketing department, especially the roles where I was leading teams. Through these roles I realised that I really want to further my studies and interest in psychology but could never afford to study full-time as I am single. In 2016 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and at the end of my treatment, the company offered me a severance package which enabled me to now further my studies. During the time I received my cancer treatment (1 year and 3 months) I did a lot of introspection and realised that I do not actually want to become a psychologist that see patients in an office all day. I want to work with families and groups of people and therefore decided to pursue a career in social work.”

KB: Watter persoonlike ervarings het ’n rol in jou roeping vir maatskaplike werk gespeel?
“The biggest influence came from my journey with cancer. I received so much love, care, support and was so privileged that I decided halfway through my treatment that I must give back. I started sharing my experience with new cancer patients and offered them support through little care packages that my friends and family helped me put together. I also visited them while they were receiving treatment and through this process, I realised how not only the patients, but their entire family need support and someone to talk to. Talking to other people that were on the same journey as me, played an important part in my personal emotional healing process. This also influenced my decision to rather pursue the social work option than psychology, which would enable me to do group work with families.”

KB: Hoe dink jy het die Koronavirus-pandemie maatskaplike probleme en werk in SA beïnvloed?
“The fact that people, who were experiencing domestic violence prior to the Coronavirus, were locked down in their homes with their assailants must have made it devastating to the victims. Also, people who earn minimum and weekly or daily wages now had no income which led to an increase in an already poverty-stricken majority. When people are hungry, theft and crime will increase. But there were also positive things that happened, for example in Durban where they put up the homeless in tents and many people got released from their drug dependency problems.”


Tougieda Gaidien

“One of the most inspiring people I have come across is one of my lecturers, dr Jessica Johannisen. She is my social work lecturer and such a wonderfully inspiring woman that really has a passion for helping others and her good qualities are contagious and admirable, she is an excellent role model for our generation as upcoming social workers.”

Kerkbode: Watter maatskaplike pro­bleem sou jy sê is die grootste in Suid-Afrika?
“I think that the lack of educated people is one of South Africa’s greatest social issues because education is not something that can be taken away from you, and if everyone had an equal standard of education and if everyone were to be educated, the unemployment rate in our country would not be increasing, even prior to Covid-19 unemployment has been a social problem within our communities.
“If everyone has the equal opportunity to be educated in our country, we would have less social problems such as unemployment, poverty, hunger and crime.”

KB: Hoe sou jy jou roeping vir maatskaplike werk beskryf?
“I feel that my calling to social work allows me to do good unto others and what is right. This includes, changing unhealthy environments within communities, overall taking on the challenging social issues and strengthening individuals and communities. Being able to help those by physically giving back to the communities through various interventions and the availability of therapeutic help. I am called to serve.”

KB: Watter persoonlike ervarings het ’n rol in jou roeping vir maatskaplike werk gespeel?
“There have been many instances in my life that have supported my decision to pursue my calling as a social worker in the making. One would be seeing the struggle and social issues within my own community, noticing the violence of others and injustice, seeing misinterpretations of certain aspects due to stereotypes and stigmas of the people about certain topics that would potentially be a benefit for communities, but too little awareness is offered for people to change their mindsets.”
“I want to make a change. If you do good, you feel good.”

KB: Speel jou geloof ’n rol in jou stu­dies?
“Yes. Through my studies and career choice I am able to practice out part of my faith, which is doing good for others and being good to others. Giving selflessly. My faith also acts as a guiding principle for me on how to treat others.”

KB: Watter boek lê langs jou bedkassie?
“Dis ek, Anna by Elbie Lötter. I am English but I find so much joy in reading Afrikaans books.”

KB: Watter aktiwiteit gee jou die meeste vreugde?
“Sleeping is an activity I love doing. But being productive is important, so I would go with doing make-up as an activity that I love doing. Doing make-up is one of my most stress relieving activities and I love making people feel good about themselves!”

KB: Indien iemand vir jou vandag sê die Koronavirus is uitgewis en daar is geen inperkings meer nie, wat sal jy eerste doen?
“Oh wow! That is quite a question. Firstly, I would take off my mask! And then hug everyone I was unable to show affection to due to social distancing. I would love to visit my family knowing that there is not a chance that they’ll be infected by me and vice versa. Covid-19 has made us fear, not for ourselves, but for the ones we love.”


Brian Lombaard

“Terwyl ek op skool was het ek elke pouse rondgestap om te kyk met wie ek kan gaan gesels. Soos ek gestap het, het ek altyd gebid en gevra dat die Here my moet stuur na leerders wat Hy weet ek vandag mee moet gaan praat. In daardie oomblike tydens pouses het ek lewensveranderinge gesien. Een van my mooiste ervaringe was waar ek ’n graad 8 leerder moes beraad en haar ondersteun deur ’n tyd van pyn en hopeloosheid. En ek kon die verande­ring in haar lewe in daardie tyd van ons afsprake waarneem.”

Kerkbode: Hoe sou jy jou roeping vir maatskaplike werk beskryf?
“Ek beskryf dit grootliks as ’n roeping en deur wat die Here vir my oopgemaak het en waarin Hy my geplaas het om ’n verskil te maak en om ander te bedien. Ek beskou dit ook as geleentheid om mense wat in gebreekte mure, stukkende, verlate, verwerpte omstandighede leef te gaan herstel en hulle omarm soos wat ek my maatskaplike roeping uitleef.”

KB: Indien iemand vir jou vandag sê die Koronavirus is uitgewis en daar is geen inperkings meer nie, wat sal jy eerste doen?
“Ek sal eerste ’n vieringsdag vir die gemeenskap reël. Almal kan dans, sing en optree. Ek sal veral vir jongmense ’n geleentheid wil gee waar hulle talente en gawes kan uitleef om die gemeenskap weer op te bou na ’n lang tyd van inperking.”


Jamie Saulse

“Most people who have been born into hopelessness only need someone to open a door for them in order to walk through. I want to be that someone for someone else.”

Kerkbode: Speel jou geloof ’n rol in jou studies?
“My belief definitely plays a role in my studies. Getting to the point of being a second year social work student has not been an easy journey. I remember a few years ago, four years to be exact, I applied for the Social Auxiliary course, once completing that year I applied at every university and got denied. I then reached out to an advisor and the advice was to study a diploma in Early Childhood Development to use it as a stepping stone. At this point I questioned whether I’ll ever reach my goal of becoming a social worker. My facilitator at the time reminded me that everything that you do, you need to do in love. She was a pure definition of being purpose driven and I then soon realised that I was right where God wanted me.
“I completed my two years and once again I tried everything to get into university but still I got declined. I remember at the beginning of the year multiple teaching opportunities were offered to me and I declined because somehow I knew. I knew that that would be the year that God would make a way to study what my heart has been longing to study. I remember getting the phone call that the Bachelor’s Degree in Social work has been approved and that I got accepted. I was in that moment filled with joy and disbelief all in one. Realising that all those years of studying was not for nothing and that God’s timing is always perfect. Even when sometimes we don’t understand why we have to go through many experiences in life, that at the end it will all make sense and that it was God’s plan for me all along.”

KB: Hoe dink jy het die Koronavirus-pandemie maatskaplike probleme en werk in SA beïnvloed?
“I think that the pandemic has influenced social problems in a huge way because prior to the pandemic South Africa as a country has already been struggling with poverty, unemployment, the lack of education. There has not been a solution that has solved all these issues. The coronavirus pandemic came and has heightened the social problems in South Africa, where the poor have now become poorer. The unemployment rate has increased due to companies not being able to function due to the economic strain, as well as many people being retrenched.”

KB: Watter boek lê langs jou bedkassie?
“Firstly my Bible and secondly a book by Lisa Bevere called Girls with swords.”


Bernell Thomas

“Na my studies sal ek graag in die Noord-Kaap wil werk.”

Kerkbode: Wie is jou grootste inspirasie?
“Een van ons dosente is my grootste inspirasie. Hierdie dosent het al deur baie gegaan en het die beste van ’n slegte si­tuasie gemaak en vandag is daardie persoon baie suksesvol. Dit het my geïnspireer om altyd alles tot die beste van my vermoë te doen, want op die ou einde van die dag sal ek wel die vrugte daarvan pluk.”

KB: Watter maatskaplike probleem sou jy sê is die grootste in Suid-Afrika?
“Armoede en dwelmmisbruik.”

KB: Indien iemand vir jou vandag sê die Koronavirus is uitgewis en daar is geen inperkings meer nie, wat sal jy eerste doen?
“Ek sal eerste doen wat ek nog altyd wou doen, en dit is meer terugploeg in my gemeenskap. Ek wil aktiwiteite doen met kinders en ouer persone. Hierdie tydperk het ’n mens laat besef die lewe is kort, ons moet die beste van elke situasie probeer maak.”