Yolande Brand and Magda Pienaar are now officially Certified Eden Educators. The first 2 for South Africa. We would like to introduce Yolande here.
“I first learned about The Eden Alternative in 2011 when I was applying for a position as a manager of a small group home for people living with dementia. The home was to implement and be managed according to the Eden Alternative philosophy and I did some research to find out more. I can still remember my first impression: This is how it should be! It resonated with me personally but also as an Occupational therapist. Honouring the individual for who they are instead of losing the person in the system.
My career to that point consisted mostly of home visits in the UK – assessing individuals to establish how they can be supported to have the best quality of life. The individuals’ ages ranged from 2 years old to 102 years young!
My Eden Alternative journey started in 2011 and I have been privileged to attend Eden Alternative courses and conferences in South Africa as well as in the UK. I have met some of the prominent leaders from The Eden Alternative, both locally and internationally, and have been humbled in conversations with them – how they absolutely live and breathe this philosophy. It’s not a programme, it’s a way of being!
In 2015, I was asked to co-present the Eden Associated three-day course with Magda Pienaar. I still remember being nervous as I had to fill very big shoes as Rayne Stroebel, the Regional Coordinator of Eden Alternative South Africa, previously presented this course with Magda. In true Eden style, Magda provided support and encouragement to bring my own experience, stories and lessons learned to share during the course.
It has been an incredible journey thus far – meeting a great number of people across South Africa (Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Bloemfontein, Winkelspruit, Pietermaritzburg, Somerset West, Port Alfred, Grahamstown, Durban, Hermanus and even Modimolle!) who share my passion in supporting Elders to have a life worth living – until their last breath.
Thank you to all the Eden Associates who were open to the message we brought – who work very hard every day to ensure that this philosophy does not stay ‘theory’, but is alive and kicking in the real world! I keep on learning from the stories you share during our time together and look forward to hearing more of the magic moments you help to create!"