Equipping women with needed skills

2019-03-26 06:01
Women taking part in a Youth Academy session at James House in Hout Bay.

Women taking part in a Youth Academy session at James House in Hout Bay.

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James House in Hout Bay invests in empowering young women through their newly launched Youth Academy programme.

The programme was launched earlier this month and has attracted 20 women between the ages of 16 and 20, who merely have a formal education with a minimum requirement of Grade 9.

These women come from Hangberg and Imizamo Yethu.

James House Facilitator Foezaile Booysen says some of these young people have not been in a learning environment for few a years and others for months.

“In this regard, we had to get them back into the routine of getting up in the morning and get familiar with a learning setup,” Booysen says.

The programme will run for four months, with last sessions expected to be in June. Sessions take place from Monday to Friday.

It is designed to equip them with job-related skills, helping them to get employed and or be able to further their education at colleges. It also provides a safe and secure environment for participants to freely express themselves in a group set up as well as in one-to-one sessions.

Those who want to pursue further individual counselling sessions with a registered counsellor are able to get referrals.

“We get the young people talking about their emotional experiences as well as the lessons they learn everyday. We, daily, have a feedback session on the activities that took place during the day and at this time the participants give us honest and direct feedback on how the day went,” says Booysen.

He added that the participants are responding positively to the programme.

Since they do not have funding for this programme, Booysen says they approached various organisations, creating networking opportunities that allow young people to explore their creativity through a different type of artwork.

Adding to the funding issue, Siya Manqunyana, a spokesperson for James House, says they will be selling second-hand clothes, electrical appliances and crockery they have received through donations and the proceeds of the day will help with programme activities.

One of the beneficiaries of this programme is the 21-year-old Thobeka Nonewa of Imizamo Yethu.

Nonewa completed her matric in 2016 but could not study further due to financial problems.

She says the programme came at the right time for her as she was getting bored by staying at home doing nothing.

“I hope with the skills and knowledge I am getting here I will be able to enrol at a college and get a qualification. I do not think I am ready to work yet, that job will not be sustainable and education is very important to me.”V For more information about James House programmes and donations visit its Facebook page on: James House.

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