Youth Month: Young people remain key to social development
The month of June, Youth Month, has traditionally been associated with mass gatherings amongst young people in the form of dialogues, discussions, conferences and engagements, where Government and stakeholders bring together youth, from various walks of life to discuss how to build a better society for all. Much has changed since the COVID-19 pandemic first hit.
"We recognise that young people are the heart and future of society and that the challenges they’ve always faced - including substance abuse, teenage pregnancy, the possibility of school dropout, lack of appropriate skills, unemployment and other social ills - are ever more present as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Despite the challenging circumstances brought about by Covid-19, our department continues to provide a wide range of services, opportunities, and support to the youth of the Western Cape,” said the Western Cape Minister for Social Development, Sharna Fernandez.
For the current financial year, R14.974 million has been budgeted towards ensuring that at least 10 000 youth in the province are provided with opportunities to access skills and personal development programmes.
The Department of Social Development (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 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 of our regional or local offices closest to them, or by contacting the DSD hotline on 0800 220 250 for information on how to access help.