Kurt Oostendorp

My name is Kurt Oostendorp. I would say I had an average life growing up, it was a stable living situation, no abuse or violence, I was a happy child. Things changed for me as I entered adulthood. I had difficulty in school and failed my matric year because of the choices I made. Finding a job was not easy and as the years went on, the older I got, the more difficult it was to find a job so that I could be independent and live on my own. I almost gave up hope because I felt like there were no options for me after trying and failing at finding work.

I’m still in the process of getting my life together. I learned to take responsibility for my decisions and I managed to take it one day at a time to reflect and overcome the disadvantages I have so that I can move past what has happened and improve my future.

The year 2019 was tough for me, I lost my job and struggled to provide for my family. I became depressed not knowing what the future might hold for me. My family was stressed.

I was allowed to join RLabs through a non-profit organization I worked with while being unemployed. I was so relieved that I got the opportunity. My family was overjoyed that their prayers were answered. I still take the proper precautions because we are still in a pandemic and I just pray that everyone makes it through this.

So far I’ve learned that people need people in the sense of community and the love we give each other can benefit the way an individual views the importance of things. My salary also helped me provide for my child and support myself. Being with RLabs gave me some stability. I got to show my family that I could do something that would benefit me and those I live with. I still have a lot to learn and I’m hungry for the experience and grateful for the opportunity.

I am a lot more open-minded and driven compared to how I was before this opportunity. I learned a lot, especially how to work with people and communicate and how to have confidence. I was not one to speak out and communicate the things that bother me, even if it was coworkers or a boss that did something I felt was inappropriate for the workplace, I would not address it.

The YES programs are very educational, the things I thought I knew the program taught me better. I never knew that there were so many things one had to know to be a functional member of society.

The YES app has helped me. Module 10 about time management was really useful to me since that was something I struggled with in the past. I now know how to manage my time better. I set my alarm in the morning and plan out my day according to what needs to be done at certain times. Also module 11 about communication, this one solved a lot of problems for me since I learned the proper way to communicate in the workplace, I feel that I am better understood and I understand better. Module 12 about teamwork helped me build better relationships with my co-workers and I now have a healthier work environment thanks to the YES program.

To the youth out there, I would say that they should keep their spirits up and put themselves out there, educate themselves on what’s available and go for it. They should never think that they are not going to succeed, they just need to keep their faith.

Thanks to RLabs for the opportunity and the knowledge given to me. The program has helped me both financially and personally, I now have a new way of dealing with things. This is a good program. I would recommend it as it has helped me a lot.

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