Maitland residents are in for major opportunities as a brand-new community resources centre is set to be launched in the area in the next few days.The centre, due to be opened this weekend, is said to contain various facilities, including entrepreneurial literature, computers, awareness programmes, access to bursaries, an after-school learning lab and a safe environment conducive to the learning process.“The community determines the programme,” says Eugene Walker, the CEO of Ikamva Ubomi, the organisation behind the resource centre project.Ikamva Ubomi is a community-based outreach project that aims to empower children with skills that will make them employable, to teach them a sense of community and to prevent them from turning to a criminal lifestyle. “The programme is aimed at community development, crime prevention and, most importantly, giving our kids direction and opportunity. Our aim is to equip learners at risk from various schools with trades and basic skills to enable them to apply for accreditation with the relevant institutions. They are also equipped with the practical skills to become employable,” reads a statement from Ikamba Ubomi.The statement goes on to say Ikamva Ubomi identifies projects in the communities where the learners apply their newly acquired skills. “They are taught to give back to the communities they come from. These projects include pensioners, churches, mosques, schools, et cetera that are in need of repairs and maintenance. “We also use skilled parents from the communities to teach the kids these basic skills. Small businesses aid by assisting us with finance, tools and other basic resources.”Walker says the initiative (to open the centre) started in 2009, when he and his team of “game changers” erected their first resource centre at Bethel Bible School in Crawford. “Everyone has the right to access to resources,” says Walker.He explains that learners, seniors and the rest of the community will utilise the centre to interact and hopefully restore respect and improve relations. Asked what prompted the idea, Walker says: “Thus far we have set up 27 resource centres without any funding. For Ikamva Ubomi, this is a normal day’s work.”With respect to funding for the project, Walker says surrounding businesses have been approached to get involved and “thus far the response has been off the charts!”“The need for safe environments in our communities is definitely rising daily. It will also serve as a pick-up point after school, for learners.”The centre will be officially launched at Maitland High School on Saturday 22 September at 10:00.V For more information contact Eugene Walker on 079 631 4224 or at email@example.com.