You know, I am so excited to talk to you and to tell my story. I want to show what disabled people can do. ‘Disabled’ doesn’t always mean having less opportunities. You can succeed. If you get the right help and education, you can do it.
Before becoming part of DYNA Training’s Disability Learnerships, Farah Sydow studied marketing at college. Some family members only wanted Farah to be part of the mainstream education system like her sibling was. But this type of teaching institution did not have the support systems that Farah needed, and it proved to be more than Farah could handle on her own. She had to stop.
Scared, and nervous, not knowing what to do next, Farah discovered DYNA’s Disability Learnership, applied, and was granted a position. “Within no time I was blossoming”, she says, “I started really growing from it.”
Four years down the line and now about to finish her NQF Level 6 qualification in Data Analysis, Farah can attest to just how much she has grown. The learnerships with DYNA have helped with her confidence, public speaking, and teamwork, and with her time management and sense of self: “I’ve discovered who I am, and I have learnt to face my fears”, says Farah. Having struggled with self-doubt and personal barriers, Farah is proud of the grades she has been achieving and the independence she has gained.
Her family is very proud too. Challenging the prevailing preference of mainstream education has not always been easy for Farah, but the success that she has experienced through the learnerships is a testament to what can be achieved with the right type of teaching and the right environment.
“It is very rare to have someone who is there for you, really there for you, and DYNA has given me that” – not only in terms of fellow learners, but the trainers and learnership support staff too, have given Farah an open and supportive environment in which she can grow and excel. The DYNA Training staff, facilitators and learners are particularly supportive of people with limitations and create a community that challenges the typical idea of what it means to be disabled, rather than focusing on what can be achieved.
Although Farah aims to continue her studies and achieve a degree-equivalent qualification, she also feels ready to work and implement what she has learnt. Farah expressed that it has been challenging learning so many new things, and new ways of thinking, throughout the different courses she has completed, but this has only benefitted her. “I am loving the me I’ve come to be”, she says.