NGO that skills young optimistic

2018-03-01 06:00
Noluvuyo Mpono and Luthando Mpano are flanked by Thembisa and Mandla Majikijela who helped them obtain learners license. PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

Noluvuyo Mpono and Luthando Mpano are flanked by Thembisa and Mandla Majikijela who helped them obtain learners license. PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

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A newly established NGO is hoping to give youngsters the drive they need to access work and entrepreneurship opportunities.

Intsika Yesizwe Community Skills Development is an organisation that currently offers skills training to young people.

According to the founders, they teach youngsters the rules of the road and prepare them for learner’s licencee tests.

The organisation boasts that eight of its first beneficiaries have already attained a learner’s license and looking forward to getting them drivers licenses.

According to founders Thembisa Sybyl Mpono, Mandla Majikijela and Noluvuyo Mpono, Intsika’s main goal is giving much needed skills to youngsters and the driving licence is a starting point.

“There are many young people who do not have the skills or resources to obtain training in townships and they end up turning to crime as a way of surviving,” said Thembisa Mpono.

Mpono works as a driver at Golden Arrow Bus Services and has told City Vision the project was borne out of a life-changing incident.

“I have always felt the need to help young people get their drivers licences but never really acted on it until September 2015.

I was held at gun point in Nyanga, when armed men entered the bus and robbed everyone. I was put on leave at work and I had a lot of time to reflect.

A lot of people expected me to be angry but I actually felt like I needed to do something for the young people,” she said.

The eight youngsters are from Nyanga, Delft, Crossroads and Lower Crossroads. Two of them shared their excitement with City Vision.

Luthando Mpano, 23, already works in the transport industry as a van assistant and hopes to get a promotion.

“I want to get my driver’s license so that I can get a job as a driver. I am very grateful to be part of the project,” he said.

Thembisa Mpono said with the help of a friend and a sister, they started to look for youngsters to help and assist with registration for the test and tutored them.

“We helped them study for the test for free as opposed to the R400 to R500 they would have paid at a driving school.

We have started with eight and we are happy that they all have passed and we are looking forward to start with the driving lessons,” she said.

She said that her decision to start with driving was also influenced by her receiving a learnership as a driving recruit at Golden Arrow Bus Services.

“I was given an opportunity, so I want to give others an opportunity too. We want to develop other skills in young people,” she said.

Majikijela echoed Mpono’s sentiments regarding the about upskilling of young people to make them competent in the work place.

“We are looking at getting them skills such as plumbing and other artisan work in the future. We want to counter unemployment head on,” he added.

Noluvuyo Mpono, 28, Thembisa’s younger sister, said that her life is now back on track as she is looking into improving her academic performance.

“I am currently improving my matric results at St Francis and opened up a salon. I am very excited about driving,” she added.

Thembisa Mpono said while they were happy with this success they still struggle with funding and infrastructure.

“At the moment we are struggling with also getting a car to teach them but we are very optimistic,” she said.

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