Caroline Shoombe is a Senior Human Resources Practitioner with the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture.
Growing up with her single mother and 15 extended family members in a poverty-stricken community and household, Caroline as a little girl had a dream of changing her family status through education. Despite working full time, Caroline braais kapana and sells cooked meals alongside the road on weekends to supplement her income and ensure that she provides for her family members. She also sells second-hand clothes at pension pay points and at open markets.
Caroline was the first in her village to graduate from university. She worked very hard to achieve this goal. Through her achievements: the first youth to pass high school with flying colours and also the first university graduate, Caroline has encouraged many young people and learners to follow suit and achieve that too. She is often approached for coaching, especially by those attending interviews, applying for schools or jobs. She also educates the learners on the current needs of the job market.
Growing up in a very poor family was challenging. At times they went to bed without eating. This did not discourage Caroline, but instead fuelled her to seek a better future for herself and her family. Caroline decided that she must bring about change and that change must start with her.
She lives by this philosophy and helps out wherever she can. At work she offers counselling and guidance to her colleagues. To her community, she offers basic legal knowledge based on her formal work. She also shares her skills and knowledge.
The support she received from the community both financially and morally motivates Caroline to carry on working hard to provide for her family and to be a role model. She recognises how having access to a network of funders and mentors could have reduced some of the challenges she faced, and she is endeavouring to create that network.
Caroline’s vision is to make a difference in young people’s lives through education, most importantly, to give them purpose and direction. She believes that a little support or extending a helping hand to a person in need can have a great impact.
She plans to provide mentorship to the youth and provide them with more information on career guidance, job hunting skills and motivation. She dreams of owning a copy machine, fax machine, a computer and scanner in order to help with CV writing, applying for jobs and creating access to information.
Seeing and experiencing the impact of her actions in her community motivates her to be a change agent. She believes that young people need role models to emulate and learn from in order to make an impact in their communities. The future of Africa rests in the young people who must visualise the Africa they want and act on their visions. Solving Africa’s problems is not complicated and does not need complicated qualifications. A can do attitude as well as team work are all that are needed to improve Africa.