Letter of Appreciation from Dorian Basson (INISA Stipendiat 2021)
Dear INISA Bursars
It is an honour to be chosen for the INISA Student Grant for the 2021 academic year.
I completed my 2nd year of studies towards a Bachelor of Social Work qualification at the University of Cape Town successfully in 2021. My goal is to become a clinical social worker.
Due to the current Covid-19 epidemic, remote learning has no doubt presented many challenges for students and higher education. The many challenges this has presented to me personally include restricted access to university due to regulations, access to Wi-Fi, and escalating data costs. Remote learning requires discipline as a student and as student social workers we formed study groups to ensure that not one of us is left behind. Field practice was also challenging as I needed to follow Covid-19 regulations and yet connect to clients through personal protective equipment. I knew that to succeed academically amid an epidemic, I would need to maintain good mental health practices. Social work is a profession that involves human connection and so this has been the most challenging aspect to deal with during the last few months. However, I have been so encouraged by the hope, overwhelming support, and encouragement I have received from lecturers, placement agencies, and fellow peers. Though the academic year has been challenging, I remind myself that this too shall pass and that even though life as we know it may have changed, hope in the goodness of humanity remains.
As a very active person, my energy and zeal for life continue to influence the youth in my community. In August 2021, I was selected by the Western Cape Provincial Government, as one of 17 facilitators to implementing a violence prevention initiative at four secondary schools located within crime-infested communities around Cape Town. This voluntary service has been enriching as I formed part of a facilitator team to implement a program but also speak to these young learners from a place of experience. Upon completion of the program in November 2021, I was invited to form part of the strategy team to provide support and plan the regional implementation of the program to all schools in the Western Cape in 2022. I realise that working with young people to realise their full potential is an enriching experience not only for them but more importantly in changing the narrative for disadvantaged youth in poverty-stricken communities.
In 2022, I will once again be part of the facilitation team to work with youth in the disadvantaged and high violence communities in schools. I also look forward to continuing my third year of studies towards my social work qualification.
Being awarded the INISA Student Grant has indeed been a reassurance that as a person of colour, working hard to achieve one’s goals will reap rewards. I cannot fully express the gratitude I have for all those involved in the selection process and all the generous donors who make it possible. By awarding me the INISA Student Grant, you have lightened my financial burden, which allows me to focus more on the most important aspect of academics: learning. Your generosity has inspired me to continue helping others and give back to the community. I hope one day that I will be able to help students achieve their goals just as you have helped me.
Regards, Dorian Basson