When Receiving Turns to Giving
From Dependence to Independence
Sometimes the world changes us and sometimes we are the given the opportunity to change the world. For Bertha Makwaya, this statement could not be more true. As young parents, Bertha and her husband tried to piece together enough income to provide the proper nourishment for their newborn daughter, Natasha. However, after a few months of living in dire circumstances, trying to support two older children and knowing breastmilk could no longer sustain their infant daughter, they were quickly running out of options.
Fortunately, enrolling Natasha in ACE’s Family Preservation Program provided just the stability Bertha’s family needed. Through FPP, Natasha received food and vitamin supplements, allowing her to sufficiently grow and thrive.
Wanting to contribute to Natasha’s nutrition and her own family’s financial stability, Bertha applied for a job as a caregiver at the Bill and Bette Bryant Home and was hired. After only two months in that role, Bertha’s supervisor was pleasantly surprised to learn that Bertha had already earned a Primary School Teacher diploma and she was immediately promoted into a teaching role. Thanks to the full-time teaching position, Bertha could remove Natasha from the FPP program to make room for those who had more serious needs for sustainable help.
Now a primary school teacher at the Bill and Bette Bryant Home’s Learning Center of Joy, Bertha is thankful that her innate ability to teach is a simple way she can now give back and help support her family at the same time. But she also recognizes that the staff who run the Family Preservation Program are world changers too. From the date of her enrollment, Natasha spent a full year as a FPP recipient. The program truly saved her life.
Find out how you can contribute to FPP and provide life changing help for children like Natasha.
The Student Becomes the Teacher
As a former FaithWorks and Helen DeVos Christian School student, Lillian Manchishi has firsthand knowledge of how education can give both students and their teachers the opportunity, hope and drive to change the world.
Lillian was among the first students to graduate from HDCS in 2012. However, just before her Grade 12 examinations, this outstanding student, already recognized for her high academic performance, good behavior, excellent attendance history and overall maturity, became very ill.
Determined to get back on her feet, Lillian attended the HDCS commencement, but she was still too sick to pass her Grade 12 exams. Shortly after this time, Lillian was sponsored by teachers who believed in her future success, and she was granted the ability to attend a teacher training college and complete a course in early childhood development.
With a heart for children and in gratitude for every teacher she had the privilege of learning from throughout her own education, Lillian decided to give back to ACE by becoming a pre-school teacher at the Learning Center of Joy at the Bryant Home.
Lillian is a phenomenal teacher. Her patience and kindness through every student interaction is inspiring. Outgoing and cheerful, she enjoys learning as much from her students and fellow co-workers as the lesson plan she diligently prepares. With a spirit of humility and obedience, Lillian’s positive approach provides a welcoming environment for her young students. Her attendance record is impeccable and she is a joy to be around and work with.
Driven by a lifelong dream of teaching at the same high school where she was once a student, Lillian sat for her Grade 12 exams a couple of years later and passed them with flying colors. Her dream is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in education and give as much personal and professional attention to HDCS students as she received.