We are a team of 10 young people in Soweto with different skills and interests. In collaboration with COPESSA, we are creating a platform by the youth, for the youth in our community who are challenged by life and have given up on their dreams. We want to renovate a previously vandalized container where we can carry out the projects like skills development, dancing or chess classes in a space for honing talents, exploring job opportunities or having conversations about navigating life.
The high youth-unemployment rate in South Africa, Soweto's "culture of violence" and a shortage of recreational and sports facilities contribute to substance and alcohol abuse that not only limit the opportunities of youth involved in it and socially isolates them as a result, but also affects their families and children who grow up around gambling, parties and substance consumption in the park. We want to provide alternatives to illegal activities and empower youth for their future.
Upgrading a multi-purpose container for youth to share ideas, discuss relevant social topics, start self-aid projects, host clubs, develop their skills and enhance their talents will add value to their lives. Providing material for renovation, chess or writing facilitates this. As a result, they will not see a need to engage in substance abuse and those who already do are given an alternative way to spend their free-time.
We aim to reach out to the +100 young people in our community through constant clubs. Skills development works towards finding suitable employment, resulting in independent, purposeful and active citizens that are good role models. The recreational activities help in exploring interests and motivation while being in a safe space to challenge issues like Gender-based Violence. Crime, substance abuse and vandalism will decrease, resulting in the safety of younger children in the park.