Building youth skills

2016-06-07 06:00
 Mzwandile Hewu (social development); Steve Swart (MP) and wife, Louise; Albert Fritz (social development minister); Anton Cuyler (Sozo Foundation CEO and co-founder) and wife, Elana; and Steve Morris (Youth Café project manager) at the official opening of the Vrygrond Youth Café.

Mzwandile Hewu (social development); Steve Swart (MP) and wife, Louise; Albert Fritz (social development minister); Anton Cuyler (Sozo Foundation CEO and co-founder) and wife, Elana; and Steve Morris (Youth Café project manager) at the official opening of the Vrygrond Youth Café.

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The Sozo Foundation opened the Youth Café for Young People Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) in Vrygrond.

The Sozo Foundation is a non-profit organisation based in the impoverished Cape Flats community of Vrygrond. The Foundation creates opportunities for holistic development through various key areas: youth development, education, health and well-being, and skills development.

Their vision is to see the community of Vrygrond living with dignity, purpose and hope.

The new cafe was opened in partnership with the Department of Social Development. It was officially opened by the department’s MEC Albert Fritz.

This is the fifth youth cafe in the province. The aim of the cafe is to provide a safe and vibrant space to cultivate mind-shifts in young people. In a community where young people are negatively impacted by gangsterism, abuse and crime, the Youth Café will be providing sustainable economic and employment growth among young people from the age of 16-25 by providing services, opportunities and support which promote well-being, social capital and skills through workshops and internships.

In his address Fritz said: “This is testament to the power of working in a whole-of-society manner. With limited budgets we can only go so far alone as government, but with partnerships with NGOs and the private sector, we can act together to provide opportunity for our youth. We will continue expanding opportunities for young people by building partnerships with NGOs and the private sector. The empowerment of youth can best be achieved, ‘Better Together’.”

The Sozo Youth Café will offer youth a six-month programme which will address the holistic development of young people.

Defined as the “1-4-1 model”, the programme will entail:

. One month of life-skills mentoring, heart-life courses (social work interventions), and skills training sessions.

. Four months of skills training offered in four streams – the barista and catering stream, technical skills stream, digital stream, and entrepreneurial stream, and

. One month of job readiness and exit preparation in which youth participants will be assisted with CV writing, job shadowing, interview skills, and ongoing one-on-one mentoring.

The Sozo Foundation has partnered with businesses and organisations inside and outside of Vrygrond who can offer internships for young adults, which will lead to work experience and full-time jobs.

The mission of the project is to see all young adults in education, employment or training.

As part of the life skills the youth will socialise and learn how to love each other within their own community so that they reach their full potential.

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