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Grand day for graduates

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Optima waved off 33 highly competent graduates in December 2017.
Since opening in 1985, Optima has equipped thousands of visually impaired students with computer, braille and call centre training, as well as skills like orientation and mobility training and activities of daily living.

Thanks to all our donors for supporting our graduates.
 

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My dreams shine on

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“Diabetes is a funny thing. Most people assume it’s not a serious illness. But it is. And I was foolish not to take it seriously,” says Thabo Sindane (38) from Mamelodi.
Thabo has had diabetes since he was 16. But four years ago he started to go blind, despite undergoing numerous cataract and glaucoma operations.

His two children find it difficult to accept that he’ll never see them dance on stage and his eldest daughter doesn’t like the attention his impairment draws when they go out in public.
Sindane’s also struggled to come to terms with his blindness. But his wife encouraged him to study Braille and Introduction to Computers at Optima and this helped him regain his self- confidence. He works at Edgars in the perfume department and thanks Optima donors for giving him the training that’s revived his dreams of progressing in his career.
 

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My trial became my victory

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In 2015, 29-year-old Mavis Chiburre was on top of the world. She owned three spaza shops and had just sat down with her stokvel to divide their savings when gunmen burst into the room. They started shooting and Mavis was hit in the head. She was devastated to lose both eyes and had to close her shops. It took months for this mother of a little girl to heal. But when she was ready to pick up the pieces, Optima donors were there for her.

Mavis enrolled for Introduction to Computers and is living at Optima’s hostel while she studies. She’s learnt self-confidence and is grateful for the support and encouragement of staff.
“The robbers may have taken my eyesight but my spirit for changing the world lives on. Thanks to Optima, the sky’s the limit. One day I’ll run a big company,” says Mavis confidently.

 

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A teacher of note

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One thing that makes Xolani Ndlovu such a good teacher is his ability to relate to students. This Durbanite lost his sight at 13 from glaucoma, and uses his experience to motivate students who are also coming to terms with blindness. Xolani’s role is to mentor and assist Introduction to Computers students to adapt to using a computer. “Some students need more time to grasp the lessons. It takes patience and understanding. I remind them that I’ve been through it too,” says Xolani, who is a Call Centre graduate.

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Expanding Optima’s horizons

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Optima is fortunate to have writer and youth leader Rinkie Leshilo working as an Introduction to Computer facilitator this year. Rinkie’s vision is to make an impact on students’ lives by expanding their knowledge of computer skills, and shifting mind- sets so that they embrace the idea of self-empowerment. "I also want to educate and motivate the community to help visually impaired persons function better in their environments.”

Rinkie recently started iRecruitment, a programme that secures internships, learnerships and university placements for her computer students. This is exactly what they need! Thank you Rinkie for being an agent of change.

 

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The soulful dreamer

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Matshidiso Mabasa (35) has been blind her whole life and is married to a visually impaired court interpreter. Her journey has not been easy – and when she gave birth to a baby boy, she asked her mother to raise the child as she felt she wasn’t capable.

This has been a source of deep sadness. Matshidiso can read braille and came to Optima to study Introduction to Computers and Call Centre training. “Optima College has taught me independence and it offers great opportunities. It will help me achieve my dream of being a switchboard operator – although my ultimate dream is to pursue a career in theology. There is nothing standing between me and my dreams.
 

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A road I never imagined

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Ziphozonke Gumede was born in rural Ulundi and dreamed of becoming an accountant and owning a Porsche. But in her second year at Durban University of Technology, she was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Doctors removed the tumour – but she lost her vision.

Determined not to let blindness ruin her life, Zipho came to Optima to study Introduction to Computers and Call Centre training. “The support and guidance of my Optima lecturers helped me regain self- confidence. Life may have changed but I have learnt the importance of
each moment. Doctors told me in 2011 that death would come knocking within three months. But I’m still alive and grateful for all things.”

 

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Anna stays true to her path, thanks to you

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Anna Letlape was born 29 years ago in the dusty streets of Mabopane, Pretoria. She was born completely blind and faced many challenges growing up. But Anna has never shied away from her disability – and, thanks to Optima donors, she hasn’t shied away from her dreams either.
“I’m not angry about being blind. We all have the ability to adapt to almost any situation, to find satisfaction in the smallest things, and to derive happiness from our relationships with family and friends,” Anna says.


Anna has dreamed her whole life of becoming a social worker or switchboard operator. And she’s staying true to her course. As a little girl, she attended Sibonile School for the Blind and later went to Filadelfia Secondary School. She then completed a learnership at Itireleng Workshop for the Blind in Ga-Rankuwa.


Then it was time for Optima College to step in to Anna’s life. She completed Introduction to Computers at Optima and is now studying Call Centre Training.Thank you for bringing Anna closer to her dream. “Optima’s made a huge difference in my life, by building my inner strength and teaching me not to be dependent on others.”

It’s often wrongly assumed that a visual impairment results in a life of misery. “But that’s not true. I’ve been blessed immensely in my life. I am young and gifted and I believe the world waits with many opportunities.” Thanks to all our Optima donors for opening the doors to Anna’s dream. We too believe that great things will come her way.
 

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VACANCY: HUMAN RESOURCES PRACTITIONER

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The SA National Council for the Blind (SANCB), a leading Non-Governmental Organization and an equal opportunity employer, seeks to appoint a dynamic and articulate individual. Blind and visually impaired individuals who meet the requirements are encouraged to apply.

Minimum Requirements:
• National Diploma in Human Resources
• A minimum of three years HR Practitioner experience

Core Competencies required:
The successful applicant must demonstrate the following:
• Strong management relationship building skills
• Good Technical HR Knowledge
• Excellent English verbal and written communication skills
• High attention to detail

Key Responsibilities:
• Recruitment and Selection Management
• Management of Staff Records (±70 Employees)
• HR Policy and Procedure communication and training
• Employee Benefits and Leave Management
• Industrial Relations and Legislation Management
• Facilitating and participation in trade union communications (HOSPERSA)
• Facilitating CCMA Cases and Investigating Misconduct
• Management and Facilitation of Employee Health and Safety
• Management and Facilitation of Employee Assistance Programme
• Management of Labour Statistics/BBEE compliance

The SANCB Offers the following Benefits:
• A market related salary;
• Membership of a medical scheme;
• Provident fund; and
• Group life insurance.


Closing Date: Friday, 1 June 2018.

Should you meet these requirements, please email your CV to: admin@sancb.org.za

Ref: SANCB HRP
 

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VACANCY: NATIONAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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NATIONAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
The SA National Council for the Blind (SANCB), a leading Non-Governmental Organization and an equal opportunity employer, seeks to appoint a dynamic and articulate individual in a five-year contract. Reporting to the National Management Committee, National Executive Committee and the Quadrennial Conference. Blind and visually impaired individuals who meet the requirements are encouraged to apply.

Minimum Requirements:
• Degree in business management, developmental studies or relevant qualifications in social sciences.
• Five years’ experience in senior management with exceptional leadership qualities.
• Knowledge of disability sector in general and blindness sector, will be an added advantage.

Core Competencies required:
The successful applicant must demonstrate the following:
• Strong Leadership skills: be competent, accountable and a visionary leader with the ability to communicate at all levels internally and externally, including and not limited to relevant stakeholders in the public and private sectors.
• Be a team player with excellent communication and negotiation skills.
• Have sound Financial Management, Accounting and Policy Development Skills.

Key Responsibilities:
• Strategic and Tactical Management: To provide overall leadership to the organization.
• Overseeing the formulation of policies and processes including financial controls, management and dissemination of information. Assuring Public and professional accountability.
• Financial Reporting and Budgeting: Overseeing the development of business plans, budgets, and annual reports. Meeting statutory obligations and reporting requirements.
• Relationship Building, Fundraising and Reporting: Developing and implementing necessary reports controls. Representing SANCB and interacting with the media.
• Spearhead establishment of an effective HR systems and policies within the organization.

The SANCB Offers the following Benefits:
• A market related salary;
• Membership of a medical scheme;
• Provident fund; and
• Group life insurance.

Closing Date: Friday, 1 June 2018.

  

Location: 
South Africa
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