NGO’s holiday programme equips youth with life skills

Abigail Women’s Movement organisation co-ordinator, Nonzame Sili

There is an abundance of talent in Khwezi Khayelitsha. This was evident when children showcased different acts and plays which they had learnt from attending holiday programmes spearheaded by Abigail Women’s Movement.

Last Friday, children showed their parents, community members and their peers what they had learnt so far from attending holiday programmes arranged by the organisation.

The organisation’s co-ordinator, Nomzame Sili, said their holiday programme formed part of their youth development programmes where they promote an environment that is free of violence, exploitation, abuse and fear.

Through life skills programmes, she said, they empower the youth to discuss and address various issues related to health, economics and social ills affecting their communities.

These, she said, were among the many issues facing the youth and, if left unattended, could contribute to their communities, homes and schools becoming unsafe places.

“The sad reality is that most parents cannot be at home due to work commitments so they often have no choice but to leave their children unmonitored.

“That leads to neglect, abuse and sexual abuse while others see that as an opportunity to experiment with drugs and some might be lured into criminal activities.”

In addition to the skills development, she said: “We had to provide breakfast and meals so that they do not get hungry while attending our programmes.

“We also issued certificates to children who attended the programme so that they could see the value and importance of such programmes.”

Programme participant Landle Magidigidi said she had learnt a lot from the programme and her mindset had been shifted.

Parent Agness Kongisa, said when she was growing up they were told that raising a child takes the whole village and such organisations played that role perfectly.

One of the organisation’s facilitators, Luthando Sishuba, said they taught them to appreciate life and make wise life choices because life can change at any time.

He said the children understood where gender-based violence and violence emanated from but sometimes they needed a platform where they could freely engage on these issues

Children entertain parents and their peers while showcasing what they had learnt from the programme.