Franco Williams was born in 1974, the youngest of 7 siblings (3 brothers and 3 sisters) and raised near Worcester.
Williams matriculated from Worcester Senior Secondary in 1991 and began working at Hex Tex textile factory. He subsequently came into contact with Ingrid Lestrade of the Youth Commission who provided information and assisted him in application to the Cape Institute of Agricultural Training (CIAT), Further Education and Training, where he commenced training on the Plant Production: Vegetable NQF 4 Learnership in 2006.
Although the environment was different to what he was familiar with, Williams immediately enjoyed what he was studying and with his passion for agriculture he excelled in both his theoretical and practical training.
Senior Lecturer, Henry Cook relates that Williams averaged over 90% from the outset and due to his strong academic performance he was identified as a student leader who assisted in evaluation of the NQF 1 learner practical tasks and became a role model for his peers, assisting students with problems and motivating those who were underperforming.
During his learnership training, Williams was involved in various extramural activities including serving on the HAKA (House Committee), CSV (Christian Students Union as well as taking on the role of Soccer coach.
Douglas Chitepo was appointed Director FET during 2006 and began a process of articulating learners from FET to HET. Williams was amongst the first group to be articulated from FET to HET, and commenced study on the two-year Higher Certificate in Agriculture in 2007. Williams graduated in 2008 and was awarded the The Sikhula Agri Training: Best Agricultural Management student as well as The Old Mutaul Award for the best student in Agricultural Management.
Williams says of his excellent performance in higher education that “FET training is a great foundation for HET because I was already familiar with the content.”
2009 sees Williams commencing further study at Elsenburg to complete his Diploma in Agriculture as well as being elected by his peers as Primarius (Head Student: CIAT).
His future goal is to become an Agricultural Extension Officer, and with his outstanding academic achievements as well as his leadership skills, we at CIAT have no doubt that this exceptional young man will achieve his goals and more.
Peter – John Danster, originally from Robertson, matriculated in 2007. He then made application successfully in 2008 for National Certificate in Plant Production: Pomology NQF 4 at Cape Institute for Agricultural Training.
Peter - John is an extremely hardworking and conscientious young man, evidenced by his selection as representative of the Cape Institute for Agricultural Training at the YARD (Youth in Agriculture and Rural Development) launch in 2008.
Peter - John excelled in his studies in 2008, remaining amongst the top performers of FET, and ultimately graduating at the top of his class. He was accepted to do the Higher Certificate at the Cape Institute for Agricultural Training and awarded the Novaris Bursary Award, a cash award of R20 000 towards his tuition costs for 2009.
It is obvious that Peter - John is academically strong and passionate about Agriculture, he will undoubtedly achieve great things in his promising future in the Agricultural sector.
After matriculating from New Orleans Secondary in Paarl in 2004, Yolande Goedeman studied Marketing and then worked in Marketing and Promotions. She realised that her passion did not lie in this field, and approached the local welfare offices looking for alternative work opportunities.
It was there that Yolande heard about Elsenburg and the learnerships offered. She applied and was accepted onto the National Certificate in Plant Production: Vegetable Programme in 2008.
Yolande says that she made the decision to return to studies in order to achieve her full potential, “ I had to do something with my life, set goals and made myself a stronger person.”
This proved a very wise step for Yolande, she was amongst the top performers in FET in 2008 and was subsequently articulated to Higher Education with a full bursary to complete her Higher Certificate in Agriculture in 2009; an opportunity she would have missed out on had she not performed so well academically on the learnership.
She says of her achievement that “everyone should look beyond their circumstances because there is always an opportunity somewhere which you can grab with both hands to make yourself a better person”.
Yolande has been selected as a House Committee member (a role which left her looking very happy, stimulated, and of course, exhausted after the activities of Orientation week in January!) and aspires to be an Extension Officer on completion of her studies.