BONGANI Nkuna is proud of himself.The 25-year-old, who used to wash cars for a living, was among the 265 people who graduated in the Mpumalanga Department of Social Development’s empowerment programme in Mbombela on Tuesday.The graduates received NQF level 4 certificates in child and youth care.Bongani said before he joined the programme, he washed cars for almost 12 years.He told Daily Sun when the opportunity came three years ago, he grabbed it with both hands because kids are close to his heart.“What makes me happy is that today I’m a professional and there’s a way forward in life. It’s important to grab opportunities when they become available. “We are doing this not because we are desperate, but because children and young people are close to our hearts. This is not about getting a salary. It’s about passion and I’d like to encourage other people, especially young people, to grab the opportunities given to them,” he said.The graduation ceremony was attended by Social Development MEC Busi Shiba.She said the ceremony was a sacred moment that needed to be cherished and celebrated. Shiba said the department expected the graduates to make a huge difference in the lives of kids.“The government expects you to continue making a difference in the lives of children, families and communities. Playing the role of parents and caregivers requires dedication and commitment. “You have to be available all the time when the child or a family needs such support the most,” she said.
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