Access to information and resources is often the main challenge facing people living in township communities and rural areas.
However, a non-profit organisation called Peace is hoping to change this.
They launched their Peace Information Centre Hub in at Ntlazana Street, Khayelitsha, opposite the train station, on Thursday February 7.
The centre provides access to computers, helps residents draw up CVs and offers other essential skills and opportunities.
Various community stakeholders and community leaders gathered at the launch.
The organisation moved to the area last year and has its main offices in Mowbray. It said one of the main reasons that propelled them to establish offices in Khayelitsha was to bring its services closer to the people.
The organisation’s director, Carol Bower, said they had conducted an intensive internal assessment of the organisation and its services.She said they developed a strategic approach and opted to establish the centre in Khayelitsha to more effectively render its services.
But most importantly, she said, the organisation wanted to work hand-in-hand with the community in finding solutions to address some of the challenges it faces.
Ms Bower said they had restructured their services and hoped that it would yield the desired outcomes.
She said the key values of the organisation was to advocate for peace and fight corruption.She said part of their mission was to elect an advisory committee that would work with the organisation’s board to find a way forward.
Ms Bower called on residents to use their services for the benefit of community upliftment and play an active role in developing the area.
She said they wanted to form partnerships with various community stakeholders so that they could tackle head-on the adversity facing the community. She said they don’t intend to solve problems for them but want the people to be part of finding solutions.
According to Ms Bower, six out of 10 young people were unemployed and had no skills. But through the centre, she said, they hoped to help the youth find jobs while equipping them with critical skills.
She said they also intend to use local entrepreneurs to boost the local economy. She said the quality of education offered in particular was a major concern. “We should speak truth to power. We want to play an active role in empowering the community. We develop ways of preventing or avoiding violence. Our education teaches our children to be job-seekers rather than job creators. We should move away from the perception that you could only become something in life when you attain a degree a diploma from universities. There is training that equips people. We want our people to be exposed to equal opportunities,” she said.
A representative of Khayelitsha Development Forum, Siyamcela Jingose, said they were excited about the initiative.
He said their stance as the forum was to showcase their unwavering support to any organisation that brings development to Khayelitsha.
He said he hoped the community would protect it and assist it on its endeavours.
Community leader, Zukile Simana, described the centre as progressive step towards community development.
He said as the residents they were highly appreciative of the centre and would ensure that it is protected.
“This is a community asset. We shall protect the centre and ensure that its work is not disrupted. We want more organisations to develop our communities,” he said.