The Evangeline students took centre stage this past Saturday for their graduation ceremony at Living Hope – they rocked the catwalk with authentic flare.
The sun was in its element, the wind had its say, howling through the socially distanced chairs and the doves above found their way to a spectator position among the rafters above the humble service. Nonetheless – the 2020 Evangeline graduation was off to a flying start.
A Holistic Approach
The Evangeline programme aims to upskill people on core levels to get them to where they need to be to start building a future for themselves. Students are taught computer skills, basic English and sewing skills. This combination of key abilities can help people get workplace ready, uplifting them over a 6 month period, allowing them to secure independence and an income to support their families.
At the graduation ceremony, programme founder Dr Wendy Ryan, mentioned to the audience that for many of these students, this was the first time that they had ever received a certificate of any kind, and how much this accomplishment meant to them.
This year, due to COVID-19 and the nationwide lockdown, we were only able to process one group of graduates, instead of the usual two. When classes eventually started up again, the group was divided in half, ensuring that the correct COVID protocols were followed and all attending the classes were safe. In the end, we saw 19 people receiving certificates at the end of the programme.
The Show Must Go On
The graduates worked their magic on and off the catwalk – they were the highlight of the entire event. On the runway their outfits shone with a sense of traditional elegance that can’t be bought in any store. The colours of the rainbow were conceptualised and brought to life with diverse rich African patterns. The colourful and truly authentic designs filled eyes with delight as the graduates flaunted their outfits in style.
It was so much more than a walk, the grace that everyone exuded in their strut across the stage allowed spectators to be apart of their world for a fleeting moment in time, relaying the pride and sense of accomplishment that these graduates felt.
For these 19 people, their journey is just beginning. Each Evangeline graduate received a new Empisal Expression sewing machine that will help them refine their new skills and open unexpected doors in life. The hope is that these graduates can go on to create garments that can help them generate an income. Armed with a thimble and needle the potential is limitless – they can step out into the world for the first time and make an impact on the world and in their personal capacity.
Some of them also go on to use their new found English and computer skills to successfully apply for jobs in a wide variety of fields.
The Jerusalema Never Looked so Bright
When you think of the Jerusalema dance challenge you already start seeing uniformity in the back of your mind. On this occasion, the dance was anything but standardised. Choreographed moves came to life in unexpected ways, the students had a blast in their outfits – in fact this should be the only way in which the Jerusalema dance challenge should take place.
Looking back at 2020 people will never forget the challenges we faced as a nation and as a global community. Our world was turned upside down in an instant and we were faced with new realities that disrupted our way of life in every way, shape and form. Covid-19 has tested our endurance beyond belief, yet we have shown just what we can do when we stand together.
2021 is around the corner and it will bring a fresh set of challenges – we look forward to it and put our faith in the amazing people we have surrounding our causes as they have shown outstanding courage in the face of adversity.
For the past 8 years, Masicorp have partnered with Dr Wendy Ryan and Evangeline Ministries, and we have seen hundreds of graduates pass through our doors in that time, each with their own incredible story of determination and resilience.
We could only have done this with the wonderful support of our friends and funders who believed in our mission to give people hope. Thank you for coming on this journey with us.