Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Meet our people: Ursula Pienaar - bringing smiles to kids' faces

 Ursula Pienaar (32), Child and Youth Worker at Carryou Ministry, always had a passion to work with children.
 "There was a time in my life when I was caught up in an abusive situation and I wanted to find a way to teach children what their rights are," she says.
 Pienaar, a single mom, grew up in Toekomsrus where she matriculated in 2000.
 "In 2008 I started work at Carryou as a Care Giver," she says, "and two months later was appointed personal assistant to the Human Resources Manager. I also did duty as the receptionist.
 "Then, when the Drop-in Centre at Toekomsrus was built, I took up the post of H.R. Manager there."
 But Ursula really wanted to be at the coal-face, in the field, directly helping people.
 "When I heard the Child and Youth Care Programme was being started I immediately applied to join and was absolutely delighted when I was accepted," Pienaar says.

Disability Facilitator

 Since then she has also, in addition, trained as a Disability Facilitator.
 "It was natural to do so," she says. "Disabled kids are often isolated and kept out of mainstream society. My role is to help the family engage with and integrate the child back into the community.
 "Often, a family simply does not have the skills, knowledge or resources to cope with the practicalities of raising a disabled child and I then try to help set up and implement practical solutions.
 "There is nothing I love more than seeing a smile light up a child's face," Pienaar says.
 When not working, Ursula enjoys swimming and is very involved in church activities.
 "I get a lot of encouragement from my pastor," she says, "and am constantly inspired by the Project Manager at Toekomsrus, Kenneth Malepe."
 And the future?
 "One day I'd like to be married and build a shelter for children -- especially street children. But for now, I am happy doing what I do."

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