My name is Celest Derks and I’m 22 years old. I am studying Social Work in Holland. I’m in my third year of the study now and in this year we had the choice to do our internship of 32 hours a week at another county. I decided to go to South-Africa, the best decision I ever made!

The last five months I was part of the SAEP team and I worked a lot with Nothando, Celine and Janine for the Bridging Year Programme. I have learned a lot about the culture, the students, social work and teamwork.

They gave me a lot of freedom and trust to do what I wanted to do. I helped the students in groups of five to set up goals every two weeks and I gave them some exercises about time-management. Time-management and goal setting are difficult for a lot of the students.

Another important thing for me was the mentor programme. Every student at the Bridging Year Programme had a choice to sign up for the mentor programme and every staff-member of SAEP could become a mentor. We did a speed dating session to match the students and the mentee’s perfectly. I created a mentor guide for the mentors and I have given a mentor training. It was a beautiful experience to give the mentor training. It was good to share my ideas with the mentors and they also shared their ideas with me and the others.

Thank you SAEP and thank you Cape Town! I will come back soon!