Albertin's knowledge of colour helps her stand out
Israel is a 28 years old young person from Sekhukhune, situated in the north of South Africa. After participating in a painting training delivered by AkzoNobel, he was able to find employment, painting the interior of a local school. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic he is once again looking for work, but credits the training for providing skills and confidence.
Like many of the beneficiaries who end up under SOS care, Israel did not have an easy start to life with his then terminally ill mother, who eventually died, and a father who was never involved in his upbringing. Israel was introduced to the organisation by a teacher from one of the local school. The teacher has always known the family and was aware of his situation especially after the passing of his mother. When asked how he thinks his life has changed because of SOS Children's Villages, this is what Israel had to say: “I am grateful because you have equipped me with enough skills to face the world head on, and have the confidence that I will succeed.”
The young man has managed to overcome many challenges and achieved many things with the reliable and consistent support from SOS. Through SOS, he had the opportunity to go to a number of courses and acquire skills. One such example was the AkzoNobel painting training, in which Israel participated in back in 2018 in Ennerdale.
Israel only has a matric (grade 12) certificate and hasn’t been able to further his studies. “AkzoNobel’ activities have helped me with skills that I wouldn’t have otherwise acquired anywhere else,” says Israel. He expressed his gratitude to Peter, the SOS Social Center manager, who told him about the training and encouraged him the most.
The training consisted of theory and practice. They were taught about the different types of paints, those for interior and exteriors, how to mix the different colours to create other colours and so forth. “I thoroughly enjoyed the practice, where we painted the walls and butler frames,” says Israel.
According to Israel, the training met his expectations and for him, the practice was the most impactful, “because it’s not easy to forget what you did with your own hands as compared to having to remember theory,” he says. “For this, there isn’t anything I would change with an activity such as this. Only maybe I would recommend a refresher course once in a while,” continues Israel.
Some time after participating in the painting training, Israel was able to find employment. Before the COVID-19 lockdown, he was involved in a project done by a contractor, in which they were renovating one of the local schools. Israel was part of painting the interior of the building. “Here is when I was able to put my skills to use,” says Israel.
The AkzoNobel training prepared him for a job because, according to him, when he did the painting job at the local school, he didn’t need to be shown what to do or how to do it. He even remembers showing others how to go about certain tasks.
With the recent COVID situation and the lockdown, it hasn’t been easy for Israel. Almost everything is on hold, so he is currently looking for employment. Nevertheless, he looks back at the AkzoNobel painting training with positivity: “I would most definitely recommend this programme to other young people, the skills and confidence in having this skill is something worth having,” concludes Israel.