Doing your WIL in Pretoria may seem a far way to travel from Cape Town. But Bukoko Pacy Marondji was up to the challenge, having travelled from the Democratic Republic of Congo just to study Environmental Management at CPUT.
The 26-year-old originally started studying Agriculture back home, but didn’t like the methods and practices she was being exposed to, which felt more harmful to the environment than helpful.
“At the residence I was staying there was a lot of waste and I kept on getting sick. The doctors told me the sickness was being caused by the unsafe environment I was living in,” she remembers.
A friend who was studying at CPUT (Cape Peninsula University of Technology) told her about the Environmental Management course and she realized this was what she wanted to explore, she applied and was accepted.
“I do want to continue studying beyond my National Diploma, at least up to Masters. After that I want to work and study for my DTech at the same time.”
“My dream is to go home and teach people, maybe start my own company.”
She is currently doing her WIL in Garsfontein at Myezo Environmental Management Services.
“I not only like it, I love it. The first environmental audit I helped to do I realized people are not always aware of the effect they have on the environment. I am developing ideas for myself so that in future I can teach people to make them more aware of what they are doing, how it affects everyone.”
She likes being able to get out of the office and interact with people to find out information that is not only useful for the businesses which contract them but also for society.
Helping to host students from the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University in Pretoria has also expanded her own way of looking at the world: “I am learning that you don’t have to go to school to learn how to save the environment and help yourself at the same time. There are ways to create opportunities for poor people to start their own businesses and help the environment at the same time.”