I joined NAG in 2012 as a future leader. This was the first exposure I received in working with community-based organisations (CBOs). The ins and outs of their operations and seeing first-hand how much effort and time the old ladies put into running their CBOs and partnering with NAG in an attempt to develop their rural communities. As a future leader, some of the lessons I took out was how to work with organisations, the processes they have to go through to register as non-profit organisations, as well as the needs and challenges they go through on a daily basis. I also learnt that although we talk about rural communities under one huge bracket, the communities we come from are all different. I would not have been able to appreciate this had I not been exposed to organisations from every corner of the UGU district.
In 2014 I was employed by NAG as a mentor to the future leaders. I served as a mentor to all future leaders (over 40) in the program, that is, conducting home visits, acting a facilitator in peer support groups and guiding them on organisational development. The transition from future leader to mentor was a smooth one. I found myself in a unique and favourable position because the future leaders respected that I understood their experiences and challenges on the ground. This made it a lot easier for the future leaders to relate and communicate with me.
In terms of the future, NAG has equipped me for success in my next venture because whilst at NAG I gained skills in people and relationship management, I received my driver’s license, and I had the opportunity to teach life skills and refine my teaching and coaching abilities. Far beyond these practical skills however, I learnt that work should not just be about remuneration; you should love you work and you should be passionate about what you do.
I can summarise my time at NAG as being a season of tremendous growth. I don’t have enough words to thank NAG for the great job, opportunities and experience. The love I received from NAG was remarkable.