Using opportunities to start new careers

using opportunities to start careers

Ndovia and Lisinet may never have crossed paths, being from two different countries; Ndovia from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Lisinet from Zimbabwe. Eleven years ago, both women left their home countries, newly married to their husbands, in search of better livesIn 2020, they both found themselves unemployed and wanting to develop their skills towards better opportunities. Through the assistance of Employment Access, Ndovia is now working in property and  Lisinet in childcare – careers that both women feel passionate about.  

Different women, with similar circumstances 

It is common when people move to another country that they take on any work that they can find, as options can be limited. Ndovia has worked in many different jobs; from a chef to a housekeeper. Having two children added a layer to the difficulties of working in a new country. “It was tough as a parent to work. My aunt would look after my children in the day, but when she went back home, this became more difficult,” she explains.  

Lisinet arrived in South Africa with dreams of becoming a teacher. Her husband is teaching in South Africa, but without a teaching degree, Lisinet first had to look for alternative options. She soon found work as a domestic worker. After a few years, her first employer moved overseas, and after she found another job the pandemic hit.

Through Scalabrini’s doors 

Scalabrini had been in the peripherals of Ndovia and Lisinet’s vision for a while, but neither had visited the centre. “I’ve known about Scalabrini for a long time, but mostly only for their English School”, says Ndovia. This is echoed by Lisinet who says she had known about Scalabrini for many years but had never come into the centre before.  

Forced to stay home, Ndovia and Lisinet knew that they needed to be proactive in finding employment and to do this they wanted to develop their skills more. This led them to Scalabrini’s Employment Access programme.  

Ndovia: A new and unexpected career path 

Ndovia first completed short courses through Employment Access; Job Readiness Training, FUNZI and Digital Literacy courses. She was then encouraged and sponsored by Employment Access to join a college that focuses on training for call centres – Ndovia completed a six-month course here.   

After she completed the course, it was time to find a job. Ndovia heard about call centres at the V&A Waterfront hiring people. She was on the bus, on her way to the Waterfront with “a lot of CVs in my hands”, when she got a message on the Employment Access WhatsApp group about a job opening. “I immediately sent my CV from the bus and decided to go home. I had a good feeling about it!” 

At 6 pm, on that same day, Ndovia received a call from what turned out to be a property agency. She was hesitant to take the job as she had no experience in selling property, but the agency offered to train her. Ndovia liked this new world but needed to find an agency that could act as a mentor. In February this year, she joined a new agency, got her first listing and in April she sold her first property!  

Ndovia’s job has brought with it a new-found sense of confidence. “I am always very private, and I am quite shy, especially when it comes to speaking English. This job helps me to be open and more confident!” This job also allows for more flexible hours, meaning that Ndovia can spend more time at home with her children.  

Lisinet: Fulfilling her dreams

Before Lisinet moved to South Africa, she volunteered as a teacher in Zimbabwe, igniting her love for teaching and a dream of owning her own creche. “I feel passionate about working with children. There was a shortage of teachers in Zimbabwe, so they were calling people who finished matric to come and help teach. That was where I realised, I liked working with children.”  

Through Employment Access, Lisinet was registered to do training with Sugar and Spice Nanny Training. This comprehensive Nanny Course gives child caregivers a solid foundation. It was a four-week training and included first aid training and CPR too. This course would enable Lisinet to continue with the type of work she is passionate about; working with children.  

After a few interviews and some months of a temporary job, Lisinet has now found permanent work, looking after a seven-month-old girl. Lisinet credits the courses she was registered to and the support of the Employment Access Team for her full-time position today.  

Forging new paths  

Through the assistance and support of Employment Access, Lisinet and Ndovia have both entered new careers and are feeling excited about the way forward. Ndovia hopes to one day be an independent property agent, and Lisinet still has dreams to open a creche.