Youth welcome job opportunities

Young women during their empowerment session in Gugulethus Potter House.

Unemployed youth of the Young Women and Girls (YWG) Project lauded the provincial Department of Health for introducing the programme that provides work experience to those looking for jobs.

The project is supported by the Global Fund, which had awarded the department an R81 million grant in the fight against TB, HIV and teenage pregnancy among young women and girls in the Cape metropole.

The programme is also designed to provide the young women with an opportunity to gain work experience that will enable them to be marketable in the work place and become independent.

About 10 000 women and 50 schools from Crossroads, Gugulethu, Nyanga, Philippi, Westridge in Mitchell’s Plain, Manenberg, Heideveld and Hanover Park are part of the Women of Worth (WoW) project, which was launched by Health MEC Dr Nomafrench Mbombo in 2016 and which is one of the YWG projects.

Speaking in Gugulethu during the visit by Ms Mbombo, on
Wednesday August 14, Women of Worth facilitator Nonela Layiti thanked the programme for the role it has played in improving the livelihoods of women in the community.

The youth who have been unemployed have been learning skills such as how to write as well as social behaviour.

Ms Layiti said the empowerment project has helped many youth to get jobs in various places. “They have developed in a short space of time. Many had curriculum vitaes that were really not selling them. But since attending the programmes, they have been excellent. They have been smashing the interviews in their prospective job places. We are grateful to the health department,” she said.

During her visit to the Potter House in Gugulethu, Ms Mbombo listened to the women debating sex and sexuality.

Looking impressed, she commended the youth for their discipline as well as honouring their time in the programme.

She said as it is Women’s Month, she is also driving the #NathiSithi_Hayi no to violence campaign, which calls on society to say no to abuse and yes to the empowerment of all women.

“As you know that young women from the ages of 19 to 24 are the most vulnerable because some are now independent and some have just lost the social grant they had. It is in those ages where they start making wrong decisions because they want something to sustain them. Hence the programme. We give them R300 but they are not sure who is going to get it because we want them to be committed.They have certainly done well and we are proud of them. We want to keep the spirit and for them to continue to assist themselves,” said Ms Mbombo.

She said it was essential to break the cycle of dependency. She said she was happy that many young women could now make informed decisions.

She said to date the project has reached 6 000 young women and girls through various programmes.

She added that in May this year over 110 participants graduated from the YWG programmes.

“Together we can improve the lives of our young women and girls and equip them to become strong, independent-minded, economically active young women. This requires the whole of society to be on board with these objectives,” she said.