Empowering the youth of Hout Bay, Cape Town.
Western Cape, South Africa (29 July 2021) – Unemployment, gangsterism, substance abuse, food insecurity, crime, teen pregnancy, and HIV. These are just some of the challenges facing many of the young people living in the Hout Bay area, on the outskirts of Cape Town, every single day.
Empowering the youth through education and skills development is a priority for many organisations around South Africa, initiatives that stretch throughout the year far beyond Youth month in June.
MAMAS Alliance prioritises the empowerment and upliftment of vulnerable youth and children across South Africa, with a network of 33 independent, autonomous NGOs operating from 75 predominantly rural sites.
One such NGO is based in Hout Bay, Western Cape and has been an implementing partner with the MAMAS Alliance network for over a decade.
“MAMAS Alliance have been instrumental in the development of our work in Hout Bay and Vredendal. The MAMAS Alliance network strives to impact the lives of children that are considered to be without a chance or future,” says Kaashifa Hoffman, Deputy Director of the organisation says.
It’s been running a Youth Development Programme (YDP) over the last three months to upskill the youth with the three specific skills identified within the Hout Bay community, namely basic hairdressing, photography and videography and information technologies.
This programme also included personal development and teaching the students’ entrepreneurship skills to enable them to work for themselves and earn a living.
Deidre, one of 12 students to graduate from the hairdressing course offered as part of this programme, says that the experience was a beautiful journey that she didn’t want to end.
“I joined the YDP in April 2021, it was the best experience because I got to learn so much in my hairdressing classes like things I never thought I would be able to do. Self-Development taught me things I never knew about myself, like my weaknesses and strengths and much, much more. Entrepreneurship taught me to open my mind to a whole new space and to think business minded,” she says.
Another student, part of the group of 11 to learn basic skills in information technology, says that the YDP programme was of great benefit especially in terms of personal development.
“It gave me a chance to look at things in a certain way and how to do things in a correct path. The IT site also gave me experience by making it possible for me to develop an app with the experience I got from the YDP. It will be an advantage to me when I am applying at work places because of the experience I gained from the YDP,” he says.
Youth in the community face many challenges, including unemployment, not finishing high school, gender-based violence, substance abuse, absent fathers and youth pregnancy.
This is one of the main catalyst organisations in the community, helping to eradicate these challenges through initiatives such as this.
Hoffman says that programmes to help empower the youth have so many benefits, including poverty eradication.
“One of the keys to empowering the youth is with skills development. When a youth is equipped with essential skills, they can utilize these skills to feed and assist others, and even invest for future use, aiding the nation economically. This will in-turn contribute to the increase in employability and add to the GDP of the nation,” he says.
He cites many other benefits, including crime reduction and improved education.
Companies that partner with MAMAS Alliance can use their CSI spend to better the lives of our children and youth while benefiting from this collaboration by having all the necessary logistics and admin taken care of. MAMAS Alliance works at no cost, guaranteeing that 100% of the funds invested in a CSI project go directly to one of the 33 NGOs within the network, such as this organisation in Hout Bay.
If you would like to support MAMAS, you can find out more via their website here.