EAPA-SA’s Free State Chapter (EAPAFS) was founded in 2008 after some of the Free State delegates who attended the 2008 conference took it up upon themselves to champion the establishment of the home of EAPs in the Free State province. The current committee was preceded by the following men and women who have served the Chapter with distinction over the years:
- 1ST Chairperson – Nozi Matshoba – 2008 to 2010
- 2nd Chairperson – Joe Makasane – 2011 to 2012
- 3rd Chairperson – Palesa Mphosi – 2012 to 2013
- 4th Chairperson – Nthabiseng Mosoeu-Kopa – 2014
- 5th Chairperson – Jimmy John Lenong – 2015 to date
The current committee, whose term of office comes to an end in Aug 2017 comprises:
- Chairperson – Jimmy Lenong
- Deputy Chairperson – Gaongalelwe Makhetha –
- Events, Conferencing & Projects – Pakiso Makatla
- Sponsorship, Marketing, & Stakeholder Relations – Coceka Ntlokwana
- Governance & Finance – Nthabiseng Mosoeu-Kopa
- Education – Mathapelo Letsholo
- Membership & Membership Development – Baesi Mohlaloka
- Secretariat – Nthabiseng Motaung
- Additional Roving Member – Jeffrey Mapanyane
- Ex- Officio & National Board Member – Palesa Mphosi
- Ex-Officio & National Board Member – Joe Makasane
The EXCO has further established a ‘sub-chapter’ in the Lejweleputswa district under the coordinating structure comprising of:
- Mpho Letsekha
- Tshidi Malebo
- Serame Polori
- Nthabiseng Motebele
- Modiegi Thagane
The Free State membership profile is predominantly based on EAP Practitioners in full-time employment or self-employed. The Chapter is mostly home to government EAP Professionals in local, provincial, and national government departments, though efforts to recruit EAPs in private practice and those working in the mining sector in the Lejweleputswa district have already begun bearing fruits.
The Chapter has arranged a variety of activities and events for its members, ranging from developmental sessions on topical issues in the profession; wellness events in the form of fun runs and walk-runs; community social investment initiatives through partnering with NGOs to assist with their projects, certificate ceremonies to acknowledge contribution to the Chapter to honor new members; celebratory events in the form of year-end functions and gala evenings; as well as organizing fundraising events to boost our coffers (see attached slides)
The strength and upward trajectory of the Free State Chapter lies in strong partnerships forged with stakeholders, the variety of value-laden offerings to our members and the EXCO’s commitment to serve their constituency. In the past two years, specifically, the saying that ‘the strength of the team is in each individual member, and the strength of each member is in the team’ by Phil Jackson has been like a glue binding the EXCO together, hence the Chapter’s unique achievements. Because of the three-way combination of factors that make the Free State Chapter unique (strong partnerships, mixed bag of offerings to members, and committed EXCO), we have been crowned the Best Chapter in the country for two successive years – 2015 & 2016!
Unlike provinces like Gauteng where there are many service providers offering wellness and EAP Services, and potential sponsors willing to backup EAP offerings, in noticing the gap, the EAPAFS has positioned itself as the home, the voice, and developmental engine for EAPs in the province.
Because of the vastness and the geographical spread of the Free State Province, the Chapter is challenged in its endeavours to address the needs of and reach EAPs in all districts in the province. Currently, the most benefit out of the EAPAFS offerings are derived by the professionals around the Bloemfontein area. However, efforts are underway to reach out to other areas in the province through championing the establishment of sub-chapters.
Granted, since its establishment in 2008, the chapter has had a topsy-turvy ride, as such it initially struggled to entrench itself in the minds of EAP professionals in the province. However, since about two years ago, the Chapter can proudly say that EAPs are beginning to have a sense of belonging in their professional home, the EAPAFS Chapter!
To visit the chapter or contact the Chapter Chairperson, please visit their page https://www.eapasa.co.za/egoli-chapter/
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