YOUTH DAY: Minister Fernandez hosts Youth Day Expo in Nyanga
In commemoration of Youth Day, Thursday 16 June 2022, the Western Cape Minister for Social Development, Sharna Fernandez hosted a Youth Café Expo at the Nyanga Junction Youth Café.
Youth Cafés are an initiative born out of the Provincial Youth Development Strategy, which calls for improving education outcomes (developing crucial skills for employment) and opportunities for youth, mainly focusing on those Not in Employment, Education, or Training (NEETs), in the 16 to 35 cohort.
Youth Cafés offer young people the opportunity to acquire job readiness skills, gain entrepreneurial insights and training, and learn how to access funding opportunities, as well as practical training programmes across various sectors. They offer an accessible environment where young people may also find a sense of belonging among like-minded peers.
Whilst the Youth Café Expo paid tribute to the courageous youth of 1976, who defied the apartheid government to build the South Africa we have come to know today, the expo was also held to promote the following:
• Showcase the work undertaken by the Department’s funded organisations that focus on youth developement;
• Showcase entrepreneurial and other opportunities to youth;
• Motivate youth who are currently in the social welfare system;
• Showcase alternatives to mainstream work opportunities and;
• Promote the work done by the provincial Department of Social Development’s (DSDs) youth programme.
In her key note address to 200 youth in attendance, the Minister Fernandez said; “ I wish to reaffirm our commitment to supporting young people in every stage of their lives.
Through our social partnerships and youth development programmes, we are committed to unlocking the full potential of the youth of our province.
As we continue to recovery from the socio-economic impact, I also wish to call on our youth to help us rebuild our economy and make a difference in the lives of our communities.”
An investment in the youth is an investment in the future. Therefore, the Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) has joined hands with its Non-Profit Organisation Partners to several Youth Cafés around the province to create safe, creative spaces for young people to develop their potential and access opportunities.
For the current financial year, R14 171 000 million has been budgeted towards ensuring that thousands of youth in the province are provided with opportunities to access skills and personal development programmes.
The provincial DSD currently funds 27 Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) to provide opportunities for training and development, with a particular focus on those youth who are Not in Education, Employment and Training (NEETs) across the province.
The programme targets the most vulnerable and valuable youth, with a focus on the following:
· Life and personal skills development;
· Work skills development;
· Leadership development;
· Internships through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) and;
· Informal skills development.
"We understand the value of our youth, who are the future of our country. We have a vision we want to realise, and that is to help every young person in the Western Cape to be an inspired, educated, responsible, independent, healthy and productive citizen with positive personal, family and social relations," concluded Minister Fernandez.
The public can access our services by visiting any local DSD office or contacting the DSD hotline on 0800 220 250 for information to access help.
For more information about our other services, please refer to the Western Cape Department's Website below: