I have known Dr Joseph for the last 13 years, first as her lecturer and then as her Masters and doctoral research supervisor. She always impressed as a motivated, ambitious (in the good sense of the word) and driven young woman with strong goals for herself. It was also very clear to me that it is important to her that her learning and goals should benefit both her and others. She thus embodies social responsibility and citizenship in her vision and actions. Bianca is very committed to community engagement and particularly the ideal of volunteerism. She is an expert in this area as she did her doctoral thesis exploring recruitment and retention strategies to facilitate volunteerism among university students. Volunteerism and the ability to successfully establish volunteering platforms for university students is one of her strengths. She successfully established the Watergarden project, an afterschool project in the Klapmuts community. This project ran for a number of years and she, with student volunteers, made this one of the most successful student initiated volunteer projects emanating from the Psychology department at Stellenbosch University.
When she qualified as a counsellor, one of her interesting applications of her skills and knowledge was sport. She drew on her sporting interest as an accredited cricket score keeper and added her skill as counsellor to sporting codes such as rugby and cricket, to provide emotional support and mental training for developing elite athletes.
Dr Joseph has extended her skills gained from doing good research and training as a counsellor to building social entrepreneurship. Her attention to detail, creativity, criticality, compassion and many other skills fostered her desire to build a brand that fosters human connections. What strikes me about her increasingly, is her resourcefulness in transforming ideas into action across various activities and applications. I believe that this, above all, is her most distinguishing feature.
Ronelle Carolissen Professor of Community Psychology Vice-dean: Teaching and Learning, Faculty of Education, Stellenbosch University
People always ask me: “What do you do for a living?” Most of the time I am unable to answer that question because I am always busy with more than one project or just one career path. Upon reflection, I finally figured it out. I drink coffee with people! Some might call it research, others might link it to media broadcasting, consultation, counselling or mentoring. Moreover, I connect with people and help people to connect with whatever is needed for them to move to the next level in their lives.
BeeConectar Consultancy aspires to connect people; to themselves (counselling and personal development), to knowledge (research and training), to others through their stories (blogs and podcasts), and to society (community projects and networks).
I have added Conectar, a coffee brand, as a means to help with the process of connection. I found it to be easier to ask someone if they want to join you for a cup of coffee than to ask them if they would like to engage in a conversation. It is a less intimidating way of initiating a time and space to connect. I hope with this brand of coffee to encourage a culture where people visit each other’s homes or even just in their own homes with their spouses, children or siblings are able to talk about the things that matter to them. Active listening with empathy is a fundamental element of the counselling process. My desire is to see a community where people make time for one another, where they are willing to listen to each other, ask the difficult questions, and be bold and vulnerable enough to let themselves be known.
I do realise that the above is easier said than done. Technology and social media have taken over our world and means of communication. Listening to others and sharing of yourself have become daunting for many people. I have therefore added a component to the concept of connecting called the Hive Session. Our Hive Sessions are platforms created for people to come together and connect around a set topic.
ABOUT COFFEE WITH BEE
As mentioned, I love connecting with people over a cup of coffee. I always leave encouraged, inspired and motivated. Coffee with Bee is a platform to share those conversations with you, to share the extraordinary lives of ordinary people; their struggles and their victories. I write these stories in the hope that you will be encouraged to direct the narrative of your own life and be everything that you were created to be. The Coffee with Bee blog went live on 12 May 2015. It has been an amazing journey.
Recently, in June 2018, Coffee with Bee joined the airwaves. Once a month I share a cup of coffee with someone from the Wellington/Paarl area. The conversation is recorded and broadcast on Radio KC 107.7 FM
If you don’t want to miss out on these inspirational stories, subscribe now to blogs and podcasts and make sure you follow Coffee with Bee on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Cilnette Pienaar Blogger: Tapestry of Thought
What you are about to read on the pages of this blog, are not the words of a person who just has the academic background and life-experience that gives her the authority to write them. What you will read in between the lines written here are the insights and observations of a writer who has one of the rarest gifts: Empathy.
Bianca writes because she cares. She cares about people and she cares about causes. She loves nations and she loves justice. She writes to celebrate people and their stories. Her interviews are conversations born from inquisitiveness, respect and compassion.
She writes with the wisdom of a woman who has overcome many personal difficulties. She writes with the concern of a friend, and the intuitiveness of a highly qualified academic thinker.
Her impressive CV speaks for itself on these matters, but to define her only according to the framed papers on her wall is to limit the spectrum of colour that her life displays. She is, after all, a model … who is passionate about cricket …
One of her many qualities that shines through in her interviews is the rare ability (and determination) to look for the positive potential in every situation she encounters, and to recognise the gold in every person she meets. Celebrities, sports stars, students, street kids … everyone is precious and worth honouring in Bee’s eyes.
She tells the stories of peoples’ dreams, because peoples’ hearts matter.
The stories that you read on this blog are hand-picked and intentionally pursued to encourage and challenge you. They are written with care and kindness. They are written from a desire to be truthful and fair. They are written from a place of authenticity.