Proud of our young men...here for Freedom Day!
As we continue with our Global Giving project focusing on education it is important to look at StatsSA’s “The Social Profile of Youth, 2009-2014” report which raised the perniciously high, and unchanging, unemployment levels of 66% among youths, and the direct co-relation of joblessness to levels of education. Over the five-year period, little had changed: 57% of youth without matric are unemployed
South African deputy director general of population and social statistics also highlighted recently how education and not growth is the key to working youth. This correlated with official statistics showing how at least one in two South Africans aged between 15 and 24 do not have a job. This is one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the world.
Yet through our residential programme we continue to see success out of the young people we are investing in. In the last report I shared the news of one young man who achieved a bursary for a Business Management Diploma. He continues to be supported through our project and even achieved 91% in his first assignment. He is currently one of the top achieving learners in the class showing you the potential our young people have when they are given the right opportunity.
It is a question I often get asked but the South African Children’s Act 2005 does make provision for us to be able to support those young people after they turn 18 if they are motivated and opportunities are available for them to continue their training. This is also aligned to the notion of independent living and shows you where the results of what has been invested in the children over all those years can truly be seen and monitored as the transition to adulthood takes place.
Further to this I also shared the story of another young man who is currently doing a woodwork & upholstery course through a skills centre. His whole demeanor has improved and confidence increased through this vocational option being made available for him. We recently received high praise for his conduct and motivation as he won “Student of the Month” through all the courses they offer. Two of our children were also arranged work experience opportunities in the last month
I try not to talk about the experiences such children endured before coming into care with us as it is important we can look forward to the future and focus on the here and now. But it is certainly clear that they really do prove that “anything is possible”!
Since March this year we were able to arrange Occupational Therapy assessments for another 4 children and now have a number of 9 children receiving this weekly in small groups. We now have to arrange a further 4 Psychometric Evaluations to ensure that our children’s scholastic needs are met and the correct school placements identified. Already at this stage there are already 4 children who must be directed to a special school placement by next year. There is also a need for new school clothes at our centre and we hope that we will be able to raise further funds through this project to ensure that our children never look out of place compared to others in the schools they attend!
Currently at our centre we have been able to arrange a wonderful holistic activity program for the children which includes music therapy, cricket lessons, football coaching and team matches, spiritual dancing, computer lessons, sea cadets, sea scouts…we have also started a weekly reading club and have arranged trips to the library where they have been able to choose their own books! The photos here just gives a small snapshot of what is made possible for our children - and how they also make us PROUD daily! The children also each have an individual development plan so as well as these activities and outings that can be made possible their therapeutic and developmental needs are fully met by what we do at the centre. It was also lovely now to hear from one of our girls who left in November last year how she is now making great progress with her Office Administration course for which she received a bursary. She expressed just how grateful she was for everything we had done – but we are just grateful that such children can have a chance in life they always deserved!
Please please please donate if you can – at this stage we are really in need to financial support and I hope that these updates will be more regular in the future! You can of course post on facebook, tweet, email & just generally share this and help to get the word out there! Thank you for helping to make brighter futures possible…shooting for the moon one step at a time!
Youngest girls on a special music festival outing!
Dream. Believe. Achieve - one of our Iron Kids!
Life skills sessions! Youth development is key!
One of you could be the next president girls!