Unemployed and hopeless. This has become a primary subject of discussion in most conversations whenever the word ‘youth’ is brought up – from social circles to government and media – the topic cuts right across all sectors of our society. It’s the new icebreaker, but one which highlights a sad reality of helplessness, anger and frustration.
The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) has, since establishment in 2009, provided means to address the challenge of unemployment among young people between the ages of 18 – 35. Through its programmes and product offerings the organisation has forged ahead, changing lives of thousands of youth across the South Africa. One intervention which has stood out in the quest to get young people to become part of the mainstream economy is the Youth Build Programme whose objective is to equip unemployed youth with skills to make them employable or to start their own business.
For 12 months 100 unemployed youth from the Jan Kempdorp, a small town in the Northern Cape, will use the skills they have learned through YouthBuild to build at least 100 low-cost houses for vulnerable individuals and families. The YouthBuild Northern Cape Project, which kicked off in November 2013, will not only benefit poor families, it will also give participants an opportunity to obtain technical skills, a chance to serve their community which will also motivate them to become leaders and make positive changes in their lives while instilling the spirit of ubuntu within their community.
The NYDA is implementing the YouthBuild Northern Cape Project in partnership with the Department of Human Settlements, Frances Baard District Municipality at Phokwane Local Municipality, the Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs as well as the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC).
“YouthBuild is part of our response to the alarming rates of unemployment which are currently gripping our country. And as the National Development Plan states, our youth is key to South Africa’s development therefore opportunities to reduce unemployment among youth must be identified, and those opportunities includes strengthening of youth services programmes and community-based initiatives which will give young people life-skills and entrepreneurship training. This is part of what influenced our decision as the NYDA to relook our strategy, last year, to do more in the Skills Development and Education space. YouthBuild is not just a project, it is a story of social cohesion, a story of hope and courage to take charge of your own your future by taking advantage of opportunities presented to you and be part of the solution,’ says Yershen Pillay, Executive Chairperson.
SOURCE: South African Official News