How Hope Africa is Fulfilling the President of South Africa’s Mandate
February 26, 2020|
“We are confronted by the crisis of youth unemployment…. More than half of all young people are unemployed.”
This was a quote from South African President Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) this month.
The unemployment crisis has been a huge part of the poverty cycle here in South Africa for far too long. This crisis has trickled down to our youth, who are often lucky to even have the opportunity to graduate high school.
In communities where crime and poverty are simply “the way of life”, education and employment are viewed as Olympic medals—almost unattainable. The U.S. is so media-saturated that American youth are ingrained with not only how to handle media, but also how to make money from it. Meanwhile, one of the dreams of a young South African is to learn how to simply use a computer, so that they might have better prospects of landing a job.
Thankfully, this crisis has gripped the attention of the South African government to the point that President Ramaphosa is launching initiatives to address it. The Presidential Youth Employment Initiative will work for the next 5 years with 6 priorities in mind. These priorities include fundamentally changing the educational system to include more skills training, brainstorming new business pathways and opportunities for youth employment, and creating the first governmental cohort to spearhead these initiatives, to name a few.
The purpose of the governmental initiative is to “ensure that every young person in this country has a place to go, that their energy and capabilities are being harnessed, and that they can contribute to the growth of their communities and their country.” The President also stated, “We are fundamentally changing how we prepare young people for the future of work, providing shorter, more flexible courses in specific skills that employers in fast-growing sectors need.”
While it is phenomenal that the government is taking these priorities seriously, it is also very encouraging to know that Hope Africa Collective has implemented strategies focused on these same priorities for the past decade.
Our mission has been to help people climb out of poverty by equipping them with the skills they need to gain higher education and employment, and also by empowering them with the love and life-transformation of the Gospel.
Here is how we at Hope Africa Collective have already been fulfilling the President’s call to action:
- We have created pathways for young people to enroll in our programs and be set up for success after graduation.
- We have created programs that are aimed at teaching young people various skills that make them employable, including computer skills, various trade skills, and basic business skills, to name a few.
- We have created pathways for students post-graduation to gain access to higher education and/or to connect them with job prospects. (Some of our previous students are even now employed at Hope Africa Collective!)
- Our training is designed to help students immediately, making their climb out of poverty actually feasible.
We are so proud of each brave individual who chooses to make that climb and take action in their life. It is a hard thing to achieve when you are discouraged and prevented by the various obstacles of poverty. (As you might imagine, our program graduations are big celebrations!)
We are also so proud of our staff, who tirelessly pour themselves out to equip and empower those who walk through the doors of Hope Africa Collective.
Youth unemployment may now be recognized as a “national crisis,” however it has been a focus of Hope Africa’s for eleven years now. Empowering and increasing employability of young people has always been an integral part of our vision and strategic programming. And we aren’t about to quit now!