Secunda social worker wants to focus on youth development – ​​Ridge Times


Tshegofatso Gaebuelwe started working as a social worker at Famsa in Secunda in April.

She first studied for a B.Com accounting degree at Rhodes University in the Eastern Cape, but soon realized it wasn’t for her as she didn’t like work with numbers.

She enrolled in a student volunteer program and worked with different organizations that offered tutoring classes and mentoring classes.

“I realized then that I like working with people,” said Gaebuelwe.

“I started applying to different universities to study to become a social worker.”

She was accepted to a few universities and decided to study at the University of the Western Cape in Bellville.

After finishing school she struggled to find a job as she didn’t have a driver’s license and most jobs required her to have one, but with the Covid-19 pandemic it was difficult to ask for one.

She took driving lessons and got her driver’s license in December.

Before settling in Secunda, Gaebuelwe first made a trip to Vereeniging where she volunteered as a social worker at a center for drug and alcohol addiction.

While volunteering, she was also looking for a stable job and when the opportunity presented itself to work at Famsa Highveld in Secunda, she grabbed it with both hands.

About living in Secunda, she said the places are the same, it just depends on how a person adapts to their situation.

She described herself as an inside person and said she enjoys reading and writing poetry books.

She has already published six books of poetry.

Gaebuelwe writes on social issues such as teenage pregnancy, abuse, gender socialization, and AIDS, to name a few.

“I grew up in an environment where all of these things were very visible,” Gaebuelwe said.

One of her interests and also one of the things she wants to focus on in her work as a social worker is youth development.

“If the issues in a child’s life aren’t addressed at an early age, it only evolves into bigger issues as they grow up.”

Gaebuelwe’s first published poetry book is called Oshyn of Blessings and his latest poetry book which was re-released this year is called Dear Boy Child.

The Gauteng Department of Education holds a young writers competition every year and four of Gaebuelwe’s books have been reviewed, approved and recommended for use in secondary school libraries.

Gaebuelwe also started a book publishing business in 2017 and she focused on helping aspiring authors through the editorial and publishing process.

She has learned great life lessons in recent years with all the encounters she has had as a poet, author, entrepreneur and social worker.

One of the best lessons for Gaebuelwe is that no matter how far you’ve gone down the wrong road, you can always turn back.

She is proud to be a social worker.

“As a writer I use poetry to address social issues, as a social worker I take action and can make a difference in the lives of those people struggling with these issues, a person both,” said Gaebuelwe.


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