Learning project for farmworkers motivates and empowers them to achieve their full potential
A group of KwaZulu-Natal farmworkers are proving every day that one is never too old to learn.
Twelve workers at Fountainhill Estate, near Pietermaritzburg, are furthering their education and empowering themselves as part of the staff training project at the estate.
Started in 2005, the estate's literacy project aims to power the personal skills development of its employees.
Keith Taeuber, of Fountainhill, said: "The staff's progress has been incredible. They are more motivated than before because they now have an opportunity to achieve something with their lives, to finish their schooling and to empower themselves."
Twelve labourers, working on the estate's sugar cane, avocado and beef farms, and in its game reserve, are studying through the programme.
Their courses cover reading, writing, numeracy, life skills and basic computer literacy.
Each level takes about six months to complete and students are required to fit in at least two hours of training a week.
"They are individually assessed and the programmes cater for their level of education and specific needs. They can go through the programme at their own pace," Taeuber said.
The programme was formulated by the adult education company Media Works and the Agricultural Sector Education and Training Authority (AgriSeta) for illiterate and semi-literate adults.
Both these organisations monitor the students, who will write their examinations at the end of this month.
Fifty adults have passed through the training programme in its two years of existence.
"Many of our students have gone on to study other courses and have pursued other avenues," Taeuber said.
Rob Gaspar, spokesman for Media Works, said the training project incorporated the latest educational programmes and training methods.
"It is incredibly inspiring to visit the estate and experience such positive energy from every single person involved in the process, including the students, trainers and management," Gaspar said.