EKURHULENI HOSTS YOUTH DIALOGUE

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Ekurhuleni youth attending a youth dialogue at Greenfield Community Hall

By Sipho Ncube and Thabiso Kumalo

  • The Ekurhuleni region recently hosted a youth dialogue at Greenfield Community Hall, highlighting the impact of developmental programs supported by the Gauteng Department of Social Development.
  • The event, part of Youth Month commemorations, included a door-to-door campaign to profile and link youth to various opportunities in Palm Ridge, Eden Park, and Katlehong.
  • Beneficiaries shared their success stories, demonstrating how programmes like Batho Pele and Thuthukani Mafrika Youth Development Centre are empowering young people with skills for a brighter future.

The Ekurhuleni region recently hosted a youth dialogue at Greenfield Community Hall, showcasing the impact of developmental programs supported by the Gauteng Department of Social Development. This event, part of the Youth Month commemorations, included a door-to-door campaign aimed at profiling youth and linking them to various opportunities in Palm Ridge, Eden Park, and Katlehong.

Eighteen-year-old Gugu Dlamini from Greenfield is one of the enthusiastic beneficiaries of the Batho Pele program, a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) funded by the Department. Reflecting on her journey before joining Batho Pele, Dlamini shared, “After matriculating last year, I could not secure a spot at my desired university. While searching for other opportunities, I discovered Batho Pele and learned about the short courses they offered. I decided to enrol in IT and Computer Studies. This experience has inspired me to continue my education.”

Another attendee, Ryan Nakana, a beneficiary of the Thuthukani Mafrika Youth Development Centre, echoed Dlamini’s sentiments. Nakana, who first heard about the NPO while still in high school, is also studying the Computer End User program. He highlighted the course’s importance, stating, “This course is crucial as it’s often required for job applications. It equips us with basic computer skills and teaches us how to use Microsoft Word.”

Nakana encouraged the approximately 300 young people in attendance to seize such opportunities, emphasising their value for the future. Both Batho Pele and Thuthukani Mafrika Youth Development Centre offer various programs funded by the department, including Computer End User, IT Essentials, Plumbing, and Electrical Wiring.

The event also featured a talk by Sergeant Mitta Badi from Eden Park Police Station, who urged the youth to avoid criminal activities, as a criminal record can have severe long-term consequences. Addressing the young women, she cautioned against filing false rape charges out of spite or for financial gain. “Ensure you have enough money to entertain yourself when you go out partying. We will arrest and charge you if you are found making false accusations,” Badi warned.

The youth dialogue provided a platform for sharing success stories and promoting available resources, reinforcing the department’s commitment to empowering the youth and fostering a brighter future for the community.

Picture taken by: Kedi Dube

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