There is a village called Pudimoe in the Taung area of Northwest Province. That is where Joyce was born and where she went to school. Joyce wasn’t able to further her studies after matric. But she didn’t sit around idly. She worked as a volunteer at a youth centre. Later on she started a crisis centre to help people experiencing family abuse.
And then one day Joyce saw an advertisement inviting people to apply for a course in Johannesburg to be sponsored by the Provincial Department of Health. She applied and was accepted. That course was a diploma in Orientation and Mobility Practice.
Like others who applied, she had little idea at first what the course was about except that she would be working with blind people. This had Joyce interested from the start. And as the course went on, she grew more and more to love what she was doing. ‘I found it so enlightening to meet blind people and find out what their lives were like,’ she says about her training.
In 2010, Joyce graduated. The Department then sent her on a course to learn sign language. But, when it came to finding a job, there were no posts for Orientation and Mobility Practitioners in her province. And so, she had to look further afield. Eventually in August 2011, she was taken on at Sibonile school for the blind in Gauteng – quite a long way from home. There, in addition to her daily work, she got involved in school sports and as someone who loves singing, she coached the school choir.
‘I loved working with the children at Sibonile,’ she says. ‘But I wanted to spread my wings. I wanted to also work with blind people in the community.’
And so, it was that Joyce joined us in April 2019. And with SAMBT she will get plenty of opportunity for community work. And for our programmes at schools for the blind, she brings with her a wealth of experience.
‘This chance that I got to do the work that I am doing,’ says Joyce, ‘I see it as a blessing from God.’