Cafe brings hope to youngsters

2019-04-18 06:00
MEC for Social Development Albert Fritz attended the launch of the Youth Cafe in Crossroads.PHOTO: SIYABONGA KALIPA.

MEC for Social Development Albert Fritz attended the launch of the Youth Cafe in Crossroads.PHOTO: SIYABONGA KALIPA.

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The newly launched Youth Cafe in Crossroads has been praised for bringing change in young people’s lives.

The province’s 12th Youth Cafe was officially launched on Saturday and scores of young people braved the cold weather to witness the milestone.

The cafes are an initiative of the provincial Department of Social Development (DSD) designed to help communities with after-school care, life skills, mathematics tutors and literacy.

Although the cafe started operating in October last year and was officially launched last week after the completion of the renovations at the old Crossroads library.

Siviwe Dlukwana of Ikamva Labantwana Bethu a non governmental organisation (NGO) that manages the cafe, said the launch is an extension of their programmes.

He said they used to focus only on after-school care.

“We saw that the youth faced a lot of challenges which is why we decided to empower them with skills,” he said.

Dlukwana added that they also offer internship programmes every year and pay the interns a monthly stipend.

Provincial minister for social development Albert Fritz said the first Youth Cafe opened five years ago and the concept has been embraced by youth.

“Today our Youth Cafes receive approximately 10 000 visits a month,” he said.

Yoliswa Tsobo (19) from Nyanga said she joined the cafe last year.

She said it has changed her life.

“I learned more skills at the cafe. Now, I also know what I want to study because of the help I received here,” she said.

Tsobo wants to study Marine Biology and has done a lot of research about it at the cafe.

Ayabonga Buso (21) from Crossroads said after getting the skills of looking after children in the centre he now enjoys working with children.

Buso encouraged other young people to join the cafe so that they can get different skills.

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