Blaqpearl Foundation participants graduate

Thirty four participants graduate from programmes hosted by the Blaqpearl Foundation on Friday October 1.

The Blaqpearl Foundation hosted a graduation ceremony for the participants of its programmes last week.

It was held at their office at Alliance Francaise in Portland, on Friday October 1. The 34 participants graduated from programmes the foundation ran during August and September.

Foundation founder Janine Overmeyer said she was proud of all the participants acquiring the skills they can use in their lives.

“You can now use these skills, put them on your curriculum vitae. We are proud of you. We do all of this for you,” she said.

A self-defense demonstration done by sensei Eugene Adonis and Charlene Bruiners. They showed everyone how to deal with an intruder invading their home.

The foundation hosted training in life skills, anti-gender-based violence, arts, self defence and counselling.

Aboriginal tribal police Brigadier General, Farouk Davids, said he took the group to see Table Mountain which is closely linked to Khoi culture.

Aboriginal tribal police Brigadier General, Farouk Davids, said he took the group to see Table Mountain, to expose them to a part of their natural and cultural heritage.

“The community doesn’t really experience life outside their homes. Heritage is part of our lives. A lot of our people don’t really know where they come from. Taking them to Table Mountain was an important part in showing them the heritage,” he said.

Nathan Wildeman, youth ambassador for Chrysalis Academy, a youth leadership development programme, said they held wellness and physical fitness sessions.

These sessions, he said, were also helpful for substance abusers in recovery.

This group did an arts training programme the Blaqpearl Foundation’s administrator and music vocal facilitator Kristen Fortuin.

Graduate Ronaldo McCarthy from Beacon Valley said the sessions had helped with his writing. “I’ve improved in my writing. I am glad I attended this course.”

Sharon Scheepers shared a poem called Life as a Young Adult. Through the programme, she said, she had learned how to listen, learned about people’s stories and experiences and was honored to have been part of it.

Graduate Caren Witbooi said she enjoyed the self-defence classes. “I am thankful that I was a part of this, and Blaqpearl Foundation granted us this opportunity. If it wasn’t for them this would not have been possible for me.”

Graduate Sinenhlanhla Dlamini said she had learned about the value of self and how to nurture oneself to be a better person.

On Monday September 27, the Blaqpearl Foundation had also hosted a financial education workshop facilitated by Absa. Thirty-three people from the community participated and received certificates of attendance.

Ms Overmeyer said: “Thank you to the parents, caregivers and guardians for supporting and granting them an opportunity to explore where they want to be in life. We are proud of their achievements and see the growth in them. We wish them all the best for the future.”

Kristen “Lady K Soul” Fortuin and Janine “Blaq Pearl” Overmeyer performed Say My Name, an original song about gender-based violence and women empowerment.

For more information contact the Blaqpearl Foundation at 062 206 1310 or email them at