Meet a few of our Optima students

Meet a few of our Optima students

Photo's of the featured Optima students

Photo caption: Top, from left to right: Bongi, Vusi and Christina; bottom, from left to right: Meagan and Thembe

 

My name’s Bongi

Bongiwe Skota (32) lives in Pretoria with her husband and two teenage children. She was born near-sighted but her vision deteriorated after having suffered retinal detachment in her left eye in 2014 and, in 2016, she abruptly lost the sight in her right eye while busy with her postgraduate certificate in education.

Bongi enrolled for Introduction to Computers this year, which will enable her to continue her studies, and then resume her academic career, either in psychology, research or education. “Losing my sight was not the end of the world. I’m still going very far,” she says.

 

I’m Vusi

Vusi Mabuza (45) is from Witbank. This single father is one of our more mature students and is a public relations officer at the Development Bank of Southern Africa. He’s enrolled in the Introduction to Computers course. Although he’s independent and can already do tasks like ironing, he’s enjoying the orientation and mobility and activities of daily living training at Optima, as he’s trying to expand his white cane and cooking skills.

 

Hi, I’m Christina

Christina Segole (46) attended Optima last year, when she took study leave from her job as an English teacher. She’s partially sighted due to glaucoma.

Christina loved attending Optima and interacting and sharing stories with other visually impaired persons.

This is a place where we are taught to be independent. What I liked most was learning braille, and I look forward to finding a job at a school for visually impaired learners, where I can teach children subjects in braille.

Christina’s advice to Optima students is to work hard at improving their independence skills and confidence, so that they can go on to become productive members of society.

When you go out into the real world, your character and personality are the things that determine your success.”

 

Hi, I’m Meagan

Meagan Chauke (24) is from Pretoria East and is a day student at Optima. She lost most of her sight three years ago, when she suffered Intracranial Hypertension while studying political science through Unisa. She’s now only able to discern light, shadows and blurry shapes.

She enrolled in Introduction to Computers and hopes to return to Unisa and eventually become a South African ambassador. Meagan enjoys the cooking lessons in the orientation and mobility classes most.

She has a zest for life and is passionate about helping fellow human beings. Meagan and fellow student Sesethu started Loud Communicators, a public speaking group at Optima, to give students a platform to express themselves, build their self-esteem and showcase their talents.

 

I’m Thembe

Thembekile Spengane (25) is a dynamic young woman from Umtata. She matriculated from Efata School for the Blind and Deaf in 2015 and is studying Introduction to Computers.

Thembekile cherishes the new friends that she’s made at Optima, and appreciates the way her self- confidence has grown, particularly since joining the Tears of Joy band and the Loud Communicators public speaking group.

She enjoys orientation and mobility training, and is looking forward to learning how to iron her clothes. After completing the computer course, she’d like to enrol for Call Centre and Support and go on to become a call centre agent.

 

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