MAKGETHA USES SPORT, ARTS AND CULTURE TO BENEFIT CHILDREN IN DEPARTMENT’S INSTITUTIONS

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By Phetoho Maja

  • The Gauteng Department of Social Development observes the International Week for Child and Youth Care Workers annually, recognising their vital role in supporting children in need.
  • Tshepo Makgetha, a Child and Youth Care Worker at Walter Sisulu Place of Safety and Chairperson of the Departmental Sports Committee, shares his journey from aspiring footballer to dedicated care worker.
  • Makgetha’s dedication to helping children overcome life’s challenges is praised by Assistant Director Simphiwe Nzama, highlighting the importance of colleagues who go above and beyond in their roles.

The first full week of May annually is marked as the International Week for Child and Youth Care Workers. During this time, the Gauteng Department of Social Development acknowledges the dedicated and hard-working Child and Youth Care Workers (CYCW) who continue to serve as a beacon of hope to children in need of care and support.

One such person is Tshepo Makgetha, a Child and Youth Care Worker at Walter Sisulu Place of Safety and the current Chairperson of the Departmental Sports Committee. Weekly Bulletin caught up with Makgetha, who is also a former academy football player, during a talent show organised for children in government-run institutions at Mary Moodley CYCC on Wednesday.

He said, “Growing up, I had an opportunity to fulfil my dreams as a professional football player. However, due to lack of discipline, that could not happen. Today, I see some of my friends playing professionally in the Premier Soccer League.”

“But I believe that was a decision made by God, because it brought me to this profession of Child and Youth Care, to be able to teach children how to overcome their difficulties in life.”

“So, I want to tell every child, who has a difficult upbringing, that they should not give up on their dreams despite experiencing many social ills at a young age. My dream or wish is to see one out of ten (1/10) children in government-run institutions having a successful career in sport, arts and culture,” said Makgetha.

Assistant Director responsible for Institutions, Simphiwe Nzama, reiterated the importance of colleagues such as Tshepo Makgetha, who work beyond their call of duty.

“Tshepo Makgetha is doing a marvellous job for our institutions and ensures that our children are kept busy through various activities. We applaud him and the whole sports committee for their efforts. What they are doing is very encouraging to other colleagues as well within the Child and Youth Care Work fraternity.”

“Our children in institutions are currently happy and always looking forward to their next sport, arts and culture activities and interacting with their peers from other institutions,” said Nzama.

He added, “Normalisation is one of the key principles that Child and Youth Care Workers must take into consideration at all times. This is to ensure inclusivity of our children in institutions.”

“So, we wish Makgetha and the team well as they unleash the best in the lives of children in our institutions. He must continue to do the good work regardless of challenges along the way which also tap on resources for programme implementation,” concluded Nzama.

 

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