Youth empowered by renovated centre

2017-12-13 06:01
Employees of Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) assembling furniture at the Kutlwanong Youth Centre in Cassel.Photo: Supplied

Employees of Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) assembling furniture at the Kutlwanong Youth Centre in Cassel.Photo: Supplied

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On Friday, 1 December, which is World AIDS Day, about 40 employees of Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) Kuruman and Vryburg rolled up their sleeves to assist the Kutlwanong Youth Centre in Cassel as part of their corporate social investment programmes.

This was in partnership with the Department of Social Development through a donation of 11 office chairs, 11 computers and four shelves.

The Kutlwanong Youth Centre provides free internet access for the youth of Cassel, which they use to access job opportunities, photocopying services, applications for bursaries and much-needed career guidance.

The highlighted challenges faced by the youth in this area include a high crime rate, unemployment, high competition, gangsterism and a language barrier.

The owners of the centre realised that technology and being compu­ter savvy are vital to broadening the horizons for a better future.

In addition, the activities included renovations through a fresh coat of paint for the centre and colourful murals, the assembling of wooden benches and starting a vegetable garden.

Two toilets were built, a new ceiling fitted and electrical connections rewired to accommodate the new computers.

The Kutlwanong Youth Centre coordinator, Lethlogonolo Mothupi, could not stop raving about how the intervention has restored the dignity of the youth among the community.

“I could spend the whole day just thanking CCBSA, as the centre has started opera­ting as it was supposed to since they helped us.

“We were practically stuck as we only had one computer after the other one was damaged. That is why we approached them to help us to reach our objectives,” said Mothupi.

According to him, the centre was operating as a satellite branch with the other branch in Dithakong and it could only reach about 23 youths monthly due to poor management.

“That is when we decided to move to the tribal office building, which came in handy for us, as we could get a bit of assistance from the Department of Social Development.”

He said that the centre’s performance improved to such an extent that they had managed to secure funds to buy a plot that is run by a committee.

The co-ordinator wishes that their relationship with CCBSA can be maintained and that they continue to do the same for similar communities.

“Now we are proud to be fully operational with a full attendance register, as the community recognises us.

“Even adults continue to frequent us to enquire as to what we can offer their children.

“Our clients further admire the fact that they get an opportunity to use computers themselves and practice, even though we are not accredited to issue them with certificates.”

CCBSA general manager for the inland region, Billy Tom, pointed out the importance of giving back and supporting their communities.

“It is especially important as they (communities) buy and support our products,” said Tom.

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