South Africa’s youth in a “hope” crisis

2017-05-24 12:51

Our media is awash with opinion about youth unemployment and the negative impact this has on our society and on our collective future. But by constantly focusing on the negative, we give legitimacy to this narrative. If our youth believe that “everyone” is unemployed, then it is ok for them to lose faith and join the fray. What we face is not only an unemployment crisis, but also a crisis of hopelessness. It is therefore as much our responsibility to create hope and positivity for our youth as it is to create jobs. This is the main objective of My Future, My Career, to spread a positive message by focusing on tangible opportunities and possibilities available for young people.

My Future, My Career Youth Development programme focuses on youth enablement and is implemented through the creation of innovative educational film content.

Through a series of 14 in-depth educational films, the programme provides valuable information and much needed guidance on more than 115 possible career options. These films are screened in Ster-Kinekor theatres, reaching thousands of Grade 9 – 12 high school learners from disadvantaged communities across South Africa.

Aptly named “Theatres of Learning” participants gain valuable insights in to the academic requirements and personal effort that will be needed to succeed. Most importantly, they will be given the opportunity to see role models that will reinforce their sense of possibility and hope.

The programme will be launched at Tsogo Sun’s The Pivot, located within Montecasino, on 10 May, and will allow sponsors, government, media and other interested parties to interact with one another in order ensure, as well as encourage, the success of the My Future, My Career.

To date, the programme has reached over 200 000 learners nationwide, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions and inspiring them to achieve their career aspirations. In addition to this, the programme has also drawn the attention of large organisations such as Kumba Iron Ore, with their Executive Head of Public Affairs, Yvonne Mfolo saying that “We are pleased to be partnering with Primestars Marketing in the national youth career development programme to deliver educational and entrepreneurial empowerment to secondary school learners. We believe this will go a long way in ensuring that the youth who are the leaders of tomorrow have a shot at a better, brighter future”.

WDB Investment Holdings, have also become involved in the programme, and have labelled it as “An innovative and creative way to reach high school learners, and give them some insight into career choices thereby enabling them to realize their future potential”.

Shanda Paine, Group CSI Manager at Tsogo Sun, believes that it is important for corporate South Africa to ensure that disadvantaged youngsters are given support to help them enter the mainstream economy, “And we are proud to partner with Primestars in this innovative programme”.

With a considerable level of support being received from the Department of Basic Education, The Gauteng City Region Academy (GCRA), the private and public sectors and the academic fraternity, all echo the common sentiment that career education plays a vital role in developing young leaders and overcoming our country’s challenges of skill shortages, unemployment and poverty.

The programme was launched in cinema on 7 May 2017 and will run at various Ster-Kinekor cinemas across the country on Sunday mornings, with two episodes being aired per screening until 11 June 2017.

While Primestars Marketing may be the catalyst for this exciting and impactful programme, they cannot do it alone. Other organisatons that have made this possible include Regenesys Business School, Old Mutual, AECI, Kulula.com, Gearhouse, Nutrifruit, UTS, Big Bite Media and Proudly South African.

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