No matter what stands in your way, don’t give up….
That’s the motto of 21 year old Pamela who was 5 years old when her father passed away and 11 years old when her mother passed away in September 2006.
Having no other surviving relatives, Pam and her 3 siblings were left orphaned. An older sister and younger twin brother and sister were all still at school. It was a dark time for her and coping with her loss was not easy at such a young age. The family asked for help from neighbor’s going from door to door and also asked for help from social workers. In her own words “we asked for help until God sent them someone to help us.”
Pam and her siblings has had to depend on food parcels from local social workers and went to eat at a soup kitchen daily. They had no water at home or beds to sleep in, but thanked God that they had a roof over their heads.
As theirs was a child headed home, they were all too young to collect foster care grants. So, they had to find foster parents but the problem was that many people signed up just to get the money for themselves. The local social workers delayed the process and appeared to line their own pockets instead of helping this orphaned family.
Somehow, the family survived and, at a later stage. Pam’s older sister was able to fulfill the role as foster parent.
As Pam got older and went into high school, she worked over weekends and holidays as a domestic worker to make ends meet. She is grateful for her employers at that time as she built a good relationship with them and believes that God sent them into her life as part of His purposes for her.
This courageous young girl managed to complete her matric and her employers arranged for her to get a job at a local Spar. She worked there for two years to support her siblings.
Then she started a part time business management course through FET College. Sadly there was a management change and the new manager was not prepared to give her flexible hours to complete her studies, so at the age of just 20, she found that she was once again unemployed and trying to improve herself and support her siblings at the same time.
It was a tough having no income. Her friend from school, Lungile, arranged for her to be interviewed by Careerlinx for an in service position with the non-profit organsiation.
Pam comments that, at Careerlinx, she was interviewed by Rachel Engelbrecht, an amazing strong woman whom is her boss today. She says she is really blessed to be working for Careerlinx. “I have come alive and I am happy. I learn a lot each day I go to work.”
Although her life has been a struggle from a very young age, she believes we all have to start somewhere to move up. Her belief is that “life has its challenges but, as we knock on doors and trust Jesus, doors will open.”
As she has been empowered as a young adult in Careerlinx, her parting words of encouragement to unemployed youth is “No matter what stands in your way, don’t give up.”
Her manager, Rachel Engelbrecht, has the final say: “Careerlinx is blessed to have Pam Jula as part of its team. She is a hardworking, friendly, positive young lady who is determined to walk a road of destiny into a good future with a heart and passion for the services that we provide to unemployed youth in KZN communities.”