Funding to help youth

2017-09-05 06:00

Ward 68 councillor Marita Petersen believes there is so much the youth can do; all they need is guidance from leaders.

At a seminar she hosted on Youth Day, Petersen says, she got a real sense of the challenges the youth are facing. This is why she will be giving R100 000 grant-in-aid to help develop the youth.

The money is coming from her ward allocation budget for the 2017/18 municipal financial year.

“The focus is purely on the youth. There is a lot of things happening in the ward and for us to get a step closer to solving some of the problems is to tackle the problems faced by the youth. There is a huge number of school dropouts, high unemployment. This will result in crime and an increase in the number of people joining gangs and doing drugs,” she says.

“The number of primary school dropouts is alarming. Children go to school with challenges; come back home to more challenges. There are a lot of social ills: Child-headed families, single parents and poverty. Youth are at risk.

“We want to focus more on these primary school dropouts. In most cases, because they dropped out of school at a young age, they don’t know where they are going. They have no future because they can’t even be employed. So we will be investing more in them,” says ­Petersen.

Her aim is to empower youth to be resilient, self-reliant and ­employable.

“The aim is to support NGOs and NPOs that focus on youth empowerment and development. Organisations within ward 68 will be preferred should they comply. The focus is to assist and establish a youth desk, which I have already started with mentorship as well as a strategic plan to assist in the relief of unemployed youth, amongst other challenges,” she says.

NGOs that want to benefit from this will have to apply and go through all the processes stipulated before they can get funding.

“An advert will be sent out for organisations to apply and present so that they can get funding. Those that have NPO status but are not a vendor will be assisted by the subcouncil. We will also workshop the process and get them acquainted with the policy process.”

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