After finishing matric, 22-year old Nadine February (photo) from Jamestown, spent three years raising her son, Cole, while looking for employment. In 2019, she decided to apply for a degree programme at Unisa, but her application was rejected. So when she heard about the internship programme at the MiDO Foundation, she headed straight to their offices to apply for a spot.
The MiDO Foundation is a non-profit company that falls under MiDO Technologies, a company focused on providing digital literacy solutions in schools, the workplace and for entrepreneurs.
“I studied Computer Technology Application at Lückhoff High School and really enjoyed it,” explains Nadine.
“I already knew in Grade 1 that I wanted to be a teacher because I love working with children. It’s why I enjoy working at the hub because I get to work with young people.”
“I actually did not think I would be using computers again, even as a teacher. But nowadays teachers have to know how to use (electronic) White Boards and that means you have to know how to use computers when you are teaching.”
Today Nadine works at the Stelliez Hub at Stellenzicht Secondary School where she started her internship in 2019. While Nadine studied Computer Technology Application at school, she learnt a lot more through the MiDO internship.
“I did not know how to use all the different functionalities of platforms like Google. It’s no wonder then that learners who have never used computers do not even know how to switch on the device,” says Nadine.
“Today we still find that there are some learners in Grade 12 who are
unable to switch on a computer or do something basic like change the font in a Word document. It is sad to see this as it makes me realise that these learners are not ready to function in a world with technology and will definitely not be able to adjust to university easily.”
“Of course there are also the learners who are able to work out how to use different technology functions on their own,” says Nadine and smiles.
According to Nadine, this is her first job, which means she is as much on a learning expedition as the learners she assists. “I’m a very shy person, but I learnt to speak up more often at MiDO. The staff made me realise that if I did not learn to communicate more easily, I would not advance. A lot of the work we do is also very interactive, so you learn to become more self-assured.”
Nadine hopes to see many others get the opportunity she was given at the MiDO Foundation.
“I would encourage funders to continue funding the programmes offered by the MiDO Foundation, because it makes a huge difference in the lives of unemployed youth and in improving the digital skills of learners. These skills are very important in the workplace where it’s important to know how to use technology to do your job well.”
Nadine is also working on expanding her skill set. She enrolled for a teaching degree at Unisa in 2019, with the hopes of one day fulfilling her dream to become a teacher.
“I want to use my teaching skills along with the digital skills I have to empower the youth that will pass through my hands in future.”