The Beginning of a Better You
Good morning, goeiemore, molweni.
Chrysalis Graduation ceremonies are always a personal highlight for me, as it is for the entire Chrysalis staff and most importantly, for the graduates themselves.
It is always a humbling experience and great honour, to celebrate with you as you come to the end of your three month course and as you prepare yourselves for what lies ahead.
Graduation ceremonies at Chrysalis are also memorable for another reason. They signify the end and the beginning of your ongoing process of development and growth into responsible and productive adulthood. The three months that you’ve have spent here would have taught you many things about yourself that you weren’t aware of.
You would have also learned many things that will assist you in dealing with many of the challenges that life will present as you grow older. However, in the end, you are here today because of the effort and commitment you have shown over the last three months and I can sense your energy and eagerness as I stand here before you.
Before I continue, allow me to acknowledge the presence of;
CEO of the Chrysalis Academy, Ms. Lucille Meyer,
Chrysalis management and its dedicated staff,
All the Chrysalis partners,
Parents & Guardians of the graduates present,
All young people here,
Members of the outgoing board of Trustees, Minister Meyer, Minister Dan Plato, Minister Donald Grant, and Ms Marlene Le Roux,
Mr Mark Wiley - Founder of Chrysalis Academy.
Ladies and gentlemen, this speech is also my last at a Graduation Ceremony as the Chair of the current board of Trustees.
However, I can assure you that it won’t be the last time I attend a Chrysalis Graduation ceremony!
In the time that I have been chair of the Board of Chrysalis no fewer than 1518 young people have graduated - and that number includes all of you here! Of that 619 have been female graduates and 899 males.
That is truly inspiring and I want you to give these young people a round of applause ladies and gentlemen.
When you arrived at the Academy not so long ago on that cold Saturday morning on the 10th May 2014, there were 200 of you – coming from across the Western Cape – that started the 3 month period course.
Today, I am proud to announce that 195 of that 200 are graduating today! Congratulations to each and every one of you. And please give them a round of applause.
I’m proud to announce that this is the highest number per course to graduate under the current management. This is a testament to its leadership as a management team. It is also indicative of the growth and development of the academy and its staff over the last 3 years.
As outgoing Chair and on behalf of the entire board I want to thank the CEO and her staff for the outstanding work they are doing to indeed prove that Chrysalis is the best youth academy of its kind in the country!
Let me move on to talk more about where the graduates will go after today.
EPWP Work Placements
I am delighted to hear that all students will definitely enter a 9 month work placement made possible due to the Expanded Public Works programme.
This year we have created 390 EPWP work opportunities and we will continue to increase this number in the years ahead. We are also engaging the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) to secure 300 job opportunities from their work and skills programme.
The Chrysalis Academy has also entered into a partnership with DEDAT where, for the first time, some graduates students will be placed at companies to continue their electrical circuitry training. I look forward to seeing the fruits that this partnership will create.
For the proud parents and family members that here today, I also have a special message. As you celebrate with us the phenomenal achievements of your child, please make sure that you give them the necessary support, love and encouragement at home that they will need as they leave here today. I cannot emphasise enough the important role that you will play in their lives from today and it is important that you are there for them as they go onto achieving their dreams and place in the sun!
To the graduates, I want to say that you must please take your work placements very seriously. This is an opportunity for you to gain very valuable work experience while earning a monthly stipend. It will also be an opportunity for you to apply all the learning and insights gained over the last three months while learning even more skills. Take it seriously, develop yourself further and attend work every day.
Of course, some graduates will also be placed at the Chrysalis Academy. I am very pleased to announce that the following graduates will be appointed as Junior Instructors from the 11 August 2014. They will assist in running the next course.
As I call their names, I’d like them come forward so that we can acknowledge them.
- Siyabonga Mbilini
- Westhley Smith
- Lindikhaya Qunta
- Conville de Klerk
- Bantubonke Dondolo
- Jean Jason
- Molekeli Leta
- Asanda Masala
- Jacques Poole
We wish them everything of the best.
As per our tradition, we also acknowledge the student who has been the most helpful and kind and who represents the values that we would like to see in our young people. He is Chumani Vens. Mr Vens please come forward to receive your award.
Another exciting development which clearly attests to the exciting work happening at the academy is the return of two graduates who have spent 6 months in the Burgundy region of France. I am told by the CEO that they returned on Monday 27 July 2014.
One of them, Ms Mgijima will continue to be a Junior Instructor here at the academy. They have done good work in France, and I have no doubt that they will continue to do excellent work amongst the province’s youth.
I hope that we will be able to send more of our graduates to France. Currently the Chrysalis Academy is host to two French youth – Karl and Pauline who will be at the academy for 6 months and I wish them well and encourage them to learn as many skills as they can.
To the young people gathered here, let me once again congratulate you. Continue seeking opportunity out there. Please make use of our two launched Youth Cafés, the one in Mitchells Plain and the other in Vangate Mall in Athlone. To date over 809 young people have registered at the cafés and I urge you to connect with the young people at these youth cafes and the others that will be launched later in the year. I believe that the Youth Cafes can only benefit from the excellent role models that Chrysalis graduates always prove themselves to be wherever they find themselves.
In concluding ladies and gentlemen, let me congratulate 14 Alpha once again. The Provincial Government will continue to support and build partnerships with excellent youth programmes like the Chrysalis Academy. We are totally committed to ensuring that all our young people get the necessary support and opportunities they deserve. After-all youth prosperity and development are best achieved