Stenden South Africa’s flagship Community Empowerment project, the Robert Veenstra Entrepreneurship Centre, recently hosted an exceptionally special graduation at MyPond Hotel.
The reason this was different to past graduations is that there were 20 students who took part from the Port Alfred Golf Development Foundation (PAGDF). These 20 students consisted of 12 children between the ages of 11 and 13, and eight students between the ages of 15 and 60, including coach Colin Mavuso and his assistants.
Dr Wouter Hensens, the executive dean of Stenden South Africa, is one of the founders of the Port Alfred Golf Development Foundation and had organised the training following a donation from Willem Bakker, a colleague from NHL Stenden University in The Netherlands who, as part of his retirement package, generously and selflessly made a donation to a charity.
As he had visited Port Alfred in 2019 he was very keen to put the contribution to one of Stenden’s projects. Given Stenden South Africa’s empowerment initiatives of youth in the local community, Hensens suggested the PAGDF through Stenden’s nine-week computer course.
During the welcoming address, Hensens, informed the graduates that he had committed to a special prize for the student who received the highest marks for the course. This created a huge sense of excitement, enthusiasm and eagerness among the learners as the prize was a laptop!
The laptop was sponsored by local businessman Dominicue Averbuch, owner of SereneIT, who not only made a laptop available, but also offered continued support and mentoring to the winner to continue to enhance his computer skills.
Owethu Stokwe, age 13, received the highest results with an average of 91% for the course assessment and 85% for his speed typing skills. He was handed the laptop under the proud eye of his mother who also attended the graduation. Owethu was complimented by his excellent commitment to the course which paid off with an excellent result.
After the graduation ceremony all graduates enjoyed a lunch with hamburgers and chips at the Stenden South Africa campus garden.
Centre manager and trainer, John Mabote, expressed his pride and joy in seeing such a large group of children graduate and shared how much he had enjoyed training them over the last three months.