Lindelwe Mabundza, is 26 years old and married with a 7 year old daughter, who is currently in grade 1.
She is resident at Hawane while studying with EduGate, so her mother and father are looking after her daughter.
Lindelwe was already a preschool teacher, but had never been trained. In 2016 the Ministry of Education approached her and asked if she would attend a workshop which was being held by EduGate. She could not believe how good the course was. She kept thinking “Wow, this is awesome!”
She thought it was amazing the way they prayed together and the tools they were being taught over the 5 days were so helpful. So she decided to apply to EduGate for the Year course and was so grateful to be accepted.
Even while growing up, Lindelwe has always loved young children and connected well with them. The community elders and mothers saw this potential in her and so they encouraged her to start looking after their children. The children were not going to school and this was a concern for the community leaders. They realised there was a huge need for the children in the community to be looked after and taught basic things like counting and reading. It was while Lindelwe was looking after the children that the Ministry of Education saw what she was doing with the children at the preschool and encouraged her to further her formal education.
After completing the first half of the programme Lindelwe says EduGate has opened her eyes . She now looks at children differently. The course has helped her realise her own parenting mistakes. She has learnt how to speak to and encourage children. The course is so much fun. She recognises mistakes she has made with children in the past and is now able to correct them. She even feels so much more love for her daughter now and is able to understand her so much better.
Her dream is to help her community as a preschool teacher and to save up enough finances to proceed further with a teaching qualification. Ultimately her desire is to work with children in grade 1, 2 & 3. When she is with children she feels happy. It helps her keep her mind off of her problems. Seeing how quickly children forgive and forget makes her realise there is a lot we can learn from them.
She believes that it is important for children to learn to play as this is how they explore and understand. Children learn by experiencing. Play is their way of figuring things out and it helps them to enjoy learning and to see the process as fun.
Lindelwe’s favourite part of the course so far has been working with children with special needs and disabilities. She used to find it very hard to work with these children and to handle them well. But now she has learnt they work at a different pace and she can recognise their individual needs. On a recent practical week at a preschool she had a child who was hyperactive. By understanding his needs and why he was behaving that way, she was able to have a lot more patience. He wouldn’t listen to her but instead of controlling him she was able to let him play and learn as his pace, while gently guiding him in this process.
Living in community at Hawane has felt like home. The sharing of God’s word is abundant and the teachers are like mothers. She had many problems at home before she came but now, through the mentoring she received here and the prayers, things are much better. She now has an inner peace and joy that she never had before.
The plentiful and good food, having running water and learning to plant gardens has been wonderful. It has encouraged her to plant her own vegetable garden at home so they can have fresh vegetables for her daughter.
She feels she has grown so much not just spiritually but in every area of her life. She was in so much emotional pain when she came to Hawane but now she feels so happy all the time. She loves the course and is having so much fun learning that she just feels like a happy kid at times.
She is not looking forward to leaving because it has been such a great time in every area but she is looking forward to starting to teach with the tools she has acquired at EduGate, to be the best teacher it is possible for her to be.
And we truly believe she is going to be an outstanding teacher who will instil a love for learning in her students as she makes learning such fun!