250 jobs for youth

2017-12-05 06:00
Graduates of Action Volunteers Africa in Wynberg.

Graduates of Action Volunteers Africa in Wynberg.

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Action Volunteers Africa (Ava) in Wynberg celebrated yet another milestone with a graduation ceremony at Church on Main yesterday.

Ava, now an independent non-profit organisation, was set up by Action Appointments, a placement agency with 21 years’ experience in recruitment in NGOs.

Thanks to the success of Ava’s pilot programme in 2013, the organisation expanded rapidly, partnering with other NGOs and youth development organisations to create more opportunities for unemployed youth.

This year alone they have placed over 250 unemployed youth between the ages of 18 and 25 into a variety of volunteering opportunities in schools, NGOs and small businesses. Many of the participants come from poor backgrounds and are from the areas they volunteer in, including Manenberg, Hanover Park, Khayelitsha, Gugulethu and Langa.

Robyn Humphreys, Ava’s work for progress coordinator, says youth unemployment is regarded by some as “the country’s greatest problem”, but she doesn’t believe this.

“We have found that young people from impoverished communities have many of the qualities needed to step into a much brighter future. They are resilient, tenacious, strong and courageous and very willing to take up an opportunity to gain experience and realise their potential.

“They do require resources to access and retain an opportunity as well as some support to navigate the obstacles of a first-time working experience, and this is what Ava provides,” says Humphreys.

They provide training and personal development, “specifically designed for youth who have not worked before and lack the confidence, self-awareness, networks, skills and experience to land a first-time job”.

“Our training focuses on the development of new basic skills and supports volunteers in building the self-awareness and confidence required to take full responsibility of where they find themselves and the ability to reap the benefits of their experience. Ava also enables young people to identify future opportunities through our integrated progression programme.”V Continued on page 2.

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