NGO equips youth with vital business skills

The enthusiastic group of women who have been empowered to sustain themselves by Hope Africa Collective.

In a country plagued by high rates of unemployment, young people are being urged to do things for themselves.

Helping make this a reality is Hope Africa Collective, which has trained young people to be their own bosses.

Those who took part in the Hope Africa Collective hair and beauty training project received their certificates on Friday November 9 at a ceremony held at the Beautiful Gate South Africa.

The NGO provides skills and support to underprivileged men and women to start their own businesses and be self-sufficient.

The hair and beauty training project was started because they recognised the need to empower women through skills development, so they could earn an income and support themselves and their families.

Having operated in the township of Philippi, providing community upliftment programmes since 2012, the organisation embarked on this project in 2016 with a group of six women.

The project has been life-changing for the women and their families as they try to break the cycle of poverty.

On Friday the graduates were in a jubilant mood as they shook hands with their superiors and took pictures with grinning parents and relatives who cheered them on enthusiastically.

Motivational speakers, relatives and community members also wished the new graduates all the best for their new paths in life.

Teacher Ziyanda Maxaku believes all the new graduates are ready for the outside world.

Ms Maxaku, who has been a professional hairstylist of over eight years, taught the students hair styling techniques.

She told them there would be tough times ahead but they needed to be humble, grounded and apologise where they made mistakes. “I am grateful to have worked with them. They knew what they want in life.

“They have been challenged, doing hairstyles they have never done before.

“But their hunger, hard work, determination and eagerness pushed them through,” she told Vukani. She said their uniqueness will see them succeeding in life.

Salon owner Veliswa Dywili encouraged the new graduates to be strong. She urged them to put God first and all will be okay.

“Please help others so that they can also be successful. It is also good to push each other. But mostly, put God first,” she said.

The graduates said they could not wait to start working and helping others.