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IN LOCO FELLOWS BLOG SERIES #13: MAKING THE DREAM A REALITY

YOU CAN DREAM, CREATE, DESIGN AND BUILD THE MOST WONDERFUL PLACE IN THE WORLD, BUT IT REQUIRES PEOPLE TO MAKE THE DREAM A REALITY – blog by Bokang TJakotja, in loco fellow 2019 cohort

He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsmen. But an artist works with his hands, head and his heart. With my experience through the in loco fellowship program I’ve learned that anyone can become an artist.

In 2018, before I joined the fellowship program I was a freelance carpenter when I first heard about the fellowship through my ex-colleagues from college who also happened to be part of the in loco fellowship alumni and always went on and on about the opportunities the fellowship presented.

Bokang Tjakotja aka BK – in loco fellow and athor of this blog

I started following rise’s social media pages, and in May 2019 I heard  that rise was looking to recruit recent graduates to design and build a rehabilitation center for youth living with intellectual disability and autism. As the saying goes “it is in our hands to create a better world for those who live in it” and I made a pledge to work towards creating a better world making an impact in the lives of underprivileged communities and so I applied for the fellowship and I was admitted.

The first two weeks of the fellowship was about the participatory design workshops  and the transect walks to better understand the needs of the client and community so as to design and build what works for the client and not what we think will work for  them.

BK in front of the IDAL superstructure back in August 2019

After finalizing designs, construction immediately started, and my favorite part about the fellowship is being given a chance to learn about different roles within a short time. I was appointed as a plant and logistics manager then health and safety office and finally I was to oversee the whole construction process as a site manager.

I acquired both soft skills and technical skills during the fellowship, my communication skills, public speaking improved and  I acquired some management skills, sometimes making unpopular decisions which are in the best interest of the project and not individuals and developed some sharp problem solving skills. In the business part we held business trainings every Friday which helped us to perform well in our businesses and become better entrepreneurs.

I believe that all growth depends upon activity, and there is no development, physically or intellectually, without effort and effort means hard work.

BK spray painting the external walls of the IDAL Centre
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