Thousands of youth uplifted

2018-10-24 06:03
During an official launch of the decentralised mentor training youth camp of the Department of Social Development, held on 16 October at the Department of Defence’s Artillery School in Kimberley, are from the left, front: Col Nicolas Stevens, Lt Col Bothata Sekwera, Gift van Staden (MEC for Social Development in the province), Peter Nechepale (deputy director-general for community development) and Nonceba Zonke (national director for youth). Photo: Refilwe Sekwati

During an official launch of the decentralised mentor training youth camp of the Department of Social Development, held on 16 October at the Department of Defence’s Artillery School in Kimberley, are from the left, front: Col Nicolas Stevens, Lt Col Bothata Sekwera, Gift van Staden (MEC for Social Development in the province), Peter Nechepale (deputy director-general for community development) and Nonceba Zonke (national director for youth). Photo: Refilwe Sekwati

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Since its inception in 2012, six youth camp programmes have been held by the Department of Social Development, reaching over 10 000 participants.

The youth camp has served as a springboard for the identification of emerging youth leaders.

Empowered leaders are expected to organise and further empower other young people in their own communities.

The objective is also to motivate participants to run youth empowerment structures within their wards.

To realise this, the ministry of Social Development held an official launch of the decentralised mentor training youth camp on 16 October at the Department of Defence’s Artillery School in Kimberley.

Delivering the keynote speech, MEC Gift van Staden said that a high-level decision had been taken to decentralise the youth camps to provinces with the aim of reaching more young people, and to standardise the camp implementation plans.

He further added that this year the camp was targeting 3 465 youth from across all provinces, and each province is expected to host its own decentralised camp targeting 350 youth participants and 35 mentors.

This camp will be held consecutively in all provinces from Monday (29/10) until 2 December at military bases in the country.

Youth camps present an environment where young people are moulded, guided and skilled to enhance their sense of responsibility and maximise their individual and collective energy for personal development, as well as development of the broader society, said Van Staden.

The first camp will serve as a training programme for mentors who will facilitate at provincial camps. During the mentor training camp, mentors will be trained on how to effectively communicate and will delve into in-depth discussions on the white-paper rights of people with disabilities.

Thulani Kheletane, a 22-year-old resident of Warrenton, said that he hoped the ministry would deliver on its promises and use the knowledge gained to revive non-profit organisations and also motivate the youth.

During dialogues conducted by the department between December 2012 and June 2018, the youth revealed that they faced a myriad of challenges which threaten their chances for prosperity and self actualisation, such as poverty, inequality, substance abuse and unemployment.

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