February 2021.

Junita Roberts, from the small community of Patensie, in Sarah Baartman area, is proudly living out her dream career as a teacher at Hankey Primary School. Having graduated with a Post Grad Certificate in Education from Unisa, she has successfully progressed from being a Reading Assistant, at Chigwell Primary School, to an appointed teacher in an SGB post.

Driven to inspire children to learn and be a positive role model, Junita tells how she has achieved her aspiration to work with little minds. “I’m very grateful for the opportunity to work with children, as it is my dream to be a positive role model and inspire children to reach their full potential,” said Roberts.

Having been a Reading Assistant for six years, she gained extensive experience and knowledge of working with children, which led to the opportunity to take up a bursary and follow her dream to be a teacher. Junita is one of 17 local Reading Assistants funded by the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm Literacy and Numeracy programme who took up the opportunity to study teaching with the assistance of the wind farm’s education bursary programme. The programme has been put in place specifically for local reading assistants, the bursaries are education focused, designed to foster an interest in the teaching occupation whilst helping to address the national shortage of quality educational practitioners.

To-date the Literacy and Numeracy programme has drawn in twenty youth from the wind farm’s surrounding communities, to train as Reading and Literacy Assistants. A large proportion have had the opportunity to give back to their own communities, as they are able to work in local schools. This is very motivating and empowering to see the positive difference that they can make in children’s lives that they witness each day. This approach extends beyond the classroom to other areas of child development, sometimes into the area of sports.

This forms part of Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm’s Foundation Phase Education Programme, which commenced in 2016. The programme is active across fourteen primary schools, within the communities of Hankey, Patensie, Ocean View, Jeffreys Bay and Humansdorp. The Programme incorporates a number of elements, namely employment opportunities, training and resources. In addition to this, schools also receive books for reading and maths book clubs.