As part of the celebrations of women’s month Breede River Gazette celebrates and acknowledges ordinary women in the Langeberg that do extraordinary work in their community. This week senior journalist, Angelo Julies, spoke to Dorisca Kiewietz, a community activist from Montagu.
Dorisca is a volunteer facilitator for Change Agents South Africa (Casa), a non-profit organisation specializing in substance abuse interventions. However it is her kind heart and passion for her community and especially young people that captivates you in an instant when you meet her.
“My motto is to be the mentor to young people I wish I had when I was their age,” she says in a gentle voice as she shifts in her seat.
“As facilitator I focus on the social and emotional intelligence and well-being of the participants. This includes self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, building relationships and responsible decision making. The well-being of those around me is important to me,” she adds.
At first Dorisca wanted to become a social worker that works with young children to install and restore dignity and self-worth in them, but because of a lack of funding she could not enrol in university. She then qualified herself as legal secretary at Boland College, after which she completed training as Assessor, lay-counsellor at Sanca, and acquired a substance abuse intervention qualification at the University of the Western Cape.
“I also attended training in trauma debriefing through the Western Cape Chaplains Alert. And currently I am a part-time student studying Extended Education Practitioner through the Game Changer programme and do Sociology and counselling skills through ARLT, The Hague, Netherlands.”
Dorisca is a firm believer in equipping yourself first before helping or equipping others and says she worked on a curriculum that addresses the needs of school drop-outs, teen parents and young adults to enhance relationship building, building resilience and life skills during her training.
“My experiences gained through piano lessons, entrepreneurial courses, being a cosmetics group distributor, attending human rights workshops and my motto prompt me to make sure that participants experience learning that is fun and exciting,” she adds.
She says having a husband who’s passionate about youth, people and community development, contributed to her adding to the trajectory of many young adults in the Langeberg region through Casa’s programmes such as Cadalac, Precious Pearls, Grace Project and Proud2BeMe – Responsible parent training.
“I had few significant adults in the form of my mother, father, spiritual leaders and my mentor, human rights activist Damaris Kiewiets, who groomed me on my journey. But it’s ultimately Father God, his loving mercy and grace upon my life that moulded me. All glory unto Him.”
Besides being a mother of two daughters, a wife of a loving husband and full-time employee of a medical fund clinic she also serves as a director at DMK Consultants as well as other human rights organizations.
If she is not busy changing, empowering or inspiring lives she loves to spend time with family or read.
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