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My name is Langutelani Mashele and I was part of the 2019 WOP that started in August, and we were the last group for the year.

My journey in with Kolping started by seeing a friend of study towards his qualification with Kolping’s help. I had no idea what to expect on the first day of the WOP and in my mind I just had to go and prove I deserved the funding to study, at least that’s how I thought was expected of me and pretty much expected of the WOP.

The two-week program really turned out to be a lot more than I expected and brought a lot of change to myself and mostly how interact with others. The most impactful thing to come out the program was how much more self-aware I was. I learnt to really look at myself and really understand who I was and where I wanted to go beyond just studying and ending up with a career I knew I wanted above anything else.

As much as career advancement was my ultimate motivation for embarking on this journey in the first place, I think I got a lot more out of the WOP than just funding to study. Other than just getting to know and understand myself better I managed to learn about how to maintain good relationships all around me, I also walked away with a better understanding of HIV/AIDS. I also learnt how to become an even better person.

A year before the WOP I went to Siyakhula Computer School, and asked if I may intern for them and I was unsuccessful. I went back again after the WOP and this time around I was more convincing; surer of myself and my approach was different from the first time I went there. I successfully interned and facilitated some End-User

Computing classes and even after the couple of weeks I was supposed to spend there, they asked if I might stick around longer because they were impressed with my effort and my ability to impart my knowledge.

Prior to my going to Kolping, I was volunteering as a tutor, and after the WOP and seeing how the facilitators were so good to us and how much we were able to learn from them, I was a changed teacher. I believe the students at Golang Educational Outreach and Siyakhula Computer School can attest that my teaching techniques had taken a turn for the better.

The time I spent in the program allowed me to really feel comfortable in my own skin and have total confidence in my abilities and myself. I have grown to stop overthinking things and allow myself to pursue challenges that I previously believed were above my abilities or I thought I could not achieve.

Success for me means being able to improve lives of people outside of myself, by this I mean my success should not only be beneficial to myself and those closest to me. It should be a legacy that will touch generations to come; I hope that my achievements will affect the world long after I have departed this world.

I would like to thank the Kolping Family for the opportunity they afforded everyone and me who has gone through the WOP and came out an improved version of themselves. The impact of the program lasts a lot longer than we spend on the WOP.

I hope and pray that Kolping Family continues to change people’s lives for the better.

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