Graduation shows different face of the homeless
Bregarson Alkana, 24, graduated with a B.Ed degree in further education and training from Cape Peninsula University of Technology earlier this week.
While he spent half of his life on the streets, sleeping on shop stoeps, and a portion in shelters, it was when he was in Grade 11 that he met his guardian angel family.
Carol Booysen said: “He is a very respectful boy, he creeps in everybody’s heart. When we heard his story and saw he was bright at school, we just wanted to give him a better life.
“Today I am a very proud mom. It was seven years ago, he was in class with my son, when my son asked me if he could spend the holiday with us.”
A few months later, Alkana’s biological mother committed suicide and the Booysens took it upon themselves to arrange the funeral, as she never had any cover. Thereafter, Alkana became a permanent member of their family.
Booysen said she wanted people to realise while some homeless people chose to be on the streets, others were there due to their circumstances.
“Don’t see them as cowards, see them as people with great ability and be a helping hand in that person’s life.”
Alkana said he was glad he met the Booysens: “God put them on my path and I don’t think my own family would have been able to help get me where I am today.”
Alkana will be starting his teaching career at Wittebome High School in Wynberg next year.