Local volunteers empowered

2016-10-13 06:00
 Community representatives who took part in the training programme receive their certificates.  PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

Community representatives who took part in the training programme receive their certificates. PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

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Community workers from Gugulethu and Nyanga have been empowered through the Safe Node Area Committee, to equip them with better skills to carry out their duties.

On Saturday, about 36 of these civil volunteer were awarded certificates after completing a training program which focused on business studies, financial planning and conflict resolution.

The training was provided as part of the Safe Node Area Committee (SNAC), a voluntary community-based representative structure elected from community organisations in Gugulethu and Nyanga.

The programme was part of the city’s Mayoral Urban Regeneration Programme (MURP).

MURP facilitator Dumisani Ncaphayi said they were proud that the participants stuck it out over six days, the duration of the programme.

“We are very happy that you took out time and engaged in the programme and also saw the value of the training to empower you and help you do the good work you do, a little better,” he said.

He said that they also received great feedback from the graduates about the course that was carried out over different days in Gugulethu and Khayelitsha.

He said what made this training special was that the community representatives came from all age groups with the youngest 19 years and the oldest at 74 years of age.

City’s mayco member for environmental and spatial planning, Johan van der Merwe, said the training initiatives are truly the building blocks for a better future.

“Across the more vulnerable areas of our metro, street committees and other organized community structures are at the coal-face of community issues. We need to ensure that we train these persons and that proper skills transfer takes place.

“The City is very pleased to be a part of this investment in skills development and training, which has contributed to the personal development of these graduates. We are certain that it will also equip them to deal with matters in their communities, as they are often the first port of call,” he said.

He said that the urban regeneration programme will continue to be rolled out across the areas in the metro which needs it most.

“Often, these areas are characterised by urban decay and violence, and our multi-pronged approach to counter this, is absolutely based on a bottom-up approach of empowering our communities through various development programmes and dedicated infrastructure investments,” he said

Oscar Tokwana, graduate and founder of Nkunzi Organization for the disabled said he planned to the skills he has learnt in the programme and noted that it was not easy getting back to the desk.

“It was not easy for me to attend the course but I persevered against all odds.

I have never felt sorry for myself. I plan to share what I have learnt with those at my organisation and will discuss issues like skills development, violence affecting disabled people and ideas for job creation,” he said.

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