Ivy Makoni is an Alison Learner based in Pretoria, South Africa. Besides being an Alison graduate, Ivy also runs the highly successful Facebook group, Alison Students in South Africa, which helps over 3,000 Learners with all their Alison-related queries.
Originally from Zimbabwe, Ivy’s incredible story of triumphing over adversity through education makes her a fantastic role model for the thousands of Learners she helps empower themselves through Alison Students in South Africa.
Ivy spoke to the Alison Blog to share her inspiring story.
Hi Ivy, tell us a bit about yourself!
My name is Ivy Makoni and I’m 33 years old. I was born and raised in Zimbabwe. When I was 5 years old, I was orphaned when I lost my parents in a car accident. I was raised by my uncle until I finished high school. However he had 6 children of his own to take care of and so he didn’t have the money to finance my going to university. I moved to South Africa to look for a job so I could raise the money to pursue my studies and achieve my dream to of becoming a nurse. It was really hard at a young age to move and look for a job as a house-maid, but I had no choice.
How did you learn about Alison?
I first heard about Alison through my boss’s daughter, for whom I had started working as a maid in South Africa. I had told her about my dream of one day becoming a nurse.
At the time, on my days off on the weekends, I used to go to a private clinic where I was training in caregiving and helping patients with dementia. She gave me her laptop to research how else I could make my dream a reality and I found Alison.
When I told the Sister in charge of the clinic about Alison, she advised me to choose the Diploma in Clinical Nursing Skills as my first course so that I could upgrade my knowledge and continue my journey towards becoming a nurse. She offered to let me come and apply the theory I had learned with Alison in the clinic.
I would study all night on Alison using my boss’s daughter’s laptop and then, in the morning, I would do my cleaning duties. On the weekend I would apply what I had learned. When I finally completed my Diploma in Clinical Nursing Skills, I was so proud of myself that I was progressing towards my dream of one day becoming a nurse.
What inspired you to create the Alison Students in South Africa Facebook group?
I was inspired to encourage others to empower themselves with Alison because of my experience of growing up without any money to go to university and of pursuing my dream of becoming a nurse. Others like me might not have any money to enroll in a university but Alison opens the door to education for everyone for free.
Tell us about Alison Students in South Africa and the work you do.
The Facebook group, Alison Students in South Africa, now has over 3,000 members and we are attracting new members every day.
When I started my journey with Alison, I thought I was the only one. But when we created this group we found there were thousands of others studying with Alison in South Africa. We want to spread the word further and encourage newcomers to enroll with Alison for free.
The group has been incredibly helpful. Hundreds of students get in contact with us who want to know more about studying with Alison or have questions about their studies. There are so many different courses on Alison; the group allows students who have questions on a specific course or topic to ask the community and get an answer from someone who has already taken the course and has the right information.
I’m an Admin for the group and I also answer many of the students who want to learn more about nursing. I encourage them to pay for their Alison Certificate so that they can use their knowledge to secure practical experience in hospitals and clinics.
I also approve members and posts and make sure they’re only concerned with studying with Alison. I have to block all the scammers and the irrelevant posts that don’t apply to learning!
How have Alison courses affected your career?
Alison courses have advanced my nursing career because, thanks to my Alison training, I was chosen as one of the nurses at the clinic to train as a Covid-19 vaccinator. I qualified and got a Certificate from the South African government so that I could start vaccinating my community. It’s been a very scary experience, being placed on the front line. As a vaccinator, I was one of the first to get the vaccine to protect myself from Covid-19. Due to my Alison diplomas and my practice at the clinic, I have achieved my dream of working as a nurse.
Your story so far has been incredible. What’s next for you Ivy?
In terms of education, I would love to keep on upgrading myself and learning more to become a pediatric doctor. I am still studying with Alison to empower myself further and have recently earned the Diploma in Nursing and Patient Care. I’m looking forward to pursuing this new dream. I’m planning on next enrolling in the Pharmacy Technician Diploma, as well as gaining a certificate in Community and Institutional Pharmacy.
In terms of working, I want to keep helping my community by working as a vaccinator at our local clinic. I also want to continue to uplift others by encouraging them to enroll with Alison and to pursue their dreams.
What would you say to someone if they asked you about Alison?
I would recommend Alison because I am where I am today because of Alison. It helped me turn my dreams into a reality. Alison is creating universal standards of education based on what someone knows and not based on where they got their diploma.