“A child is like a book for which everyone is both a reader and writer … the proverb is true that ‘it takes a village to raise a child,’” says Yvonne Motshabise, a 41-year-old senior guidance and counselling teacher at Werda Community Junior Secondary School. Yvonne’s passion for guiding young people is clearly seen in her leadership in life skills clubs and camps like PACT and GLOW, as well as in her initiation of participatory workshops on parent-child communication and sexual and reproductive health. From 10 years of nurturing youth, she has concluded, “education and a healthy lifestyle are necessary to accomplish one’s dreams.” Yvonne says, “I love the way my students think and approach problems.
I learn a lot from them.” Referred to as “mom” by many students, Yvonne is known for coming in early and staying late for private chats with her students. “This is when my students open up and ask for advice, and we can talk through their mistakes in order to learn from them.” Yvonne’s teaching philosophy is simple: “Let them speak freely about what they want and what they are feeling. If you do this first, you will be able to guide them in how to make good choices.”