Youth centre opened

2015-07-01 06:05
FROM the left are the provincial manager of Nyda, Lebogang Olyn, LoveLife’s senior executive of operations, Rexmax Mashigo, Tsantsabane mayor, Elroyd Phete, and Kolomela Public Affairs manager, George Benjamin, unveiling the plaque of the Tsantsabane

FROM the left are the provincial manager of Nyda, Lebogang Olyn, LoveLife’s senior executive of operations, Rexmax Mashigo, Tsantsabane mayor, Elroyd Phete, and Kolomela Public Affairs manager, George Benjamin, unveiling the plaque of the Tsantsabane

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KUMBA IRON ORE, a business unit of Anglo American, partnered with loveLife, South Africa’s national youth leadership development organisation, to officially open the Tsantsabane Youth Advisory Centre in Postmasburg.

The recent rise in mining and construction development in the area has seen an increase in the number of people residing in communities in and around the Postmasburg area. Insufficient youth development interventions to tackle the challenges facing youth in the area led to Kumba partnering with organisations such as loveLife to launch the centre.

According to Cindy Ramnara-yan, communications practitioner at Anglo American, the youth in the Tsantsabane area are facing challenges resulting from increa-sing rates of unemployment, gangsterism, substance abuse, teenage pregnancy, low skills levels and violence to name a few.

She added that their lack of access to information excludes them from the economic mainstream and compounds their seemingly dire future prospects. The centre aims to equip young people with the knowledge, social tools and attitudes they need to better protect themselves from the challenges they face.

“This project, aligned with Kumba’s social strategy, is dedicated to ensuring that a meaningful difference is brought to our communities.

“Based within the Tsantsabane Local Municipality, the centre is a loveLife hub, offering the organisation’s comprehensive educational package focused on promoting an informed attitude towards healthy sexuality, positive lifestyle and inspiring and informative skills development programmes.

These programmes aim to assist in minimising and helping young people address the social, emotio-nal, educational and economic issues they face,” added Ramna-rayan.

As a civil society organisation, loveLife is also reported to have enjoyed a long and successful history in Postmasburg, with its programmes first being implemented in the area in 2002. The organisation’s programmes are also extended to the schools, community-based organisations and clinics in Postmasburg and surrounding areas.

loveLife CEO, Grace Matlhape, said: “The partnership with Kumba Iron Ore in establishing the Tsantsabane Youth Advisory Centre provides young people with greater access to loveLife’s holistic programmes, which encourage them to adopt healthy attitudes and behaviour, unleash their full potential and bring their dreams to life.

“We look forward to a good partnership based on our shared interest in improving young people’s prospects for the future.”

Open to all youth within the Tsantsabane Local Municipality, some of the programmes implemented at the centre are loveLife’s sexuality and reproductive health programme, love4life, its life skills programme, Living My Life and its skills development programme, Cyber Ys.

love4life aims to motivate young people to understand the nature of their bodies and inform them of how to keep healthy and make positive choices about their sexual behaviour.

Living My Life is a positive lifestyle programme that includes learning to assist young people to focus on building their sense of self-worth and identity. The programme also encourages them to embrace healthy values and to take personal responsibility and accountability for improving their circumstances.

The Cyber Ys programme will give young people the chance to surf the internet, promote their career development, work on their projects and assignments and find out about available study and job opportunities. The centre will make concerted efforts to link young people to educational, work and entrepreneurial openings provided by government and the corporate sector.

The centre offers a training room, where training as well as community dialogue sessions take place. These sessions provide a space for various community stakeholders to openly talk about and find ways to address various societal challenges.

“The Tsantsabane Youth Advisory Centre is primed to encourage young people to improve their employability, be motivated about the future and improve the overall quality of their lives by giving them the tools and social skills guidance they have never had,” said George Benjamin, manager: public affairs at the Kolomela Mine.

“Enhancing the mind-sets and lifestyles of youths will certainly have a positive impact on all levels of our society,” he ­concluded

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