Opening opportunities for our youth
“The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow .”
— Nelson Mandela
In April this year we excitedly opened the doors of our Youth Hub at Kids Haven. This happy and inspiring space is a place to build and maintain relationships with youth leading to improved mentorship for future-focused planning. It’s also the place where we run our Youth Skills Development Programme – an in-person 23-module basic business course aimed at helping youth (18+ years old) become employable and ultimately find a job or way to earn an income for themselves. It is a programme to bridge the gap between school and work. The Youth Hub incorporates personal development with coaching and mentorship to build confidence and aptitude to get employment.
Encouraging school dropouts to complete Matric
Refilwe (20) arrived at Kids Haven’s Youth Hub in August this year filled with despair. Her siblings and parents are struggling, depending on her mother’s disability grant as their only regular income. A Kids Haven employee, Mama Jabu, got to know Refilwe and went to visit her family. It was immediately clear that help was needed. Kids Haven supplied food parcels, clothing and toiletries including items for Refilwe’s 11-month-old baby. With the families’ basic needs being met, Refilwe could concentrate on growing herself. She completed the 23-module programme at the Youth Hub and is motivated to finish her matric. She has started the enrolment process at a school in the area. Refilwe was also selected to be part of a delegate of youth from Kids Haven to attend an event hosted by the Department of Transport. She came back inspired. “We are so proud of Refilwe. She is recovering from substance abuse and can now see light at the end of the tunnel. She can be a student and a mother knowing her family is ok,” says Tshepo Brand, Manager: Youth & Skills Development .
The Youth Hub also provides walk-in services daily, with access to WiFi and computer research and learning. The youth receive career advice and career coaching and can take a first-aid course. The aim is to support 140 youth through the Youth Hub annually.
We are proud to report that since it’s opening:
- 105 youth have completed the 23-module life skills and business training programme.
- 28 youth have been employed, and another two young men have been awarded full bursaries to enter Engineering studies in 2024.
Turning young people into entrepreneurs
After completing the Youth Hub’s 23-module programme and the five-day Entrepreneur Bootcamp workshop in May, Itumeleng from Emandleni Informal Settlement started up his own bakery. He took his delicious baked goods to schools and offices in the area and started getting orders for cakes and more. He started recording a profit. “We saw how well he was doing, and Kids Haven registered him at Siyabonga Africa to do a baking and computer course so he could grow his micro-business and manage his flow of money,” says Tshepo. This month Kids Haven gave him an oven. “We are encouraging him to branch out into holistic catering and he is very eager to do so. He is an amazing success story.”
But we need your help!
One of our biggest needs is work experience and career guidance for our teens and youth.
Having a group of five to 10 young people at your office, factory or site for a day would offer a valuable, learning opportunity. The more exposure these young people get the better. It helps them understand what the working world looks like, how people behave and that there are opportunities for them.
We also need experienced people to come to the Youth Hub to speak to our young people about careers and offer guidance on what the job entails, what qualifications/skills are needed and how best to get there. During these visits, youth can practice their interviewing skills, improve their ability to make conversation and build networks, and engage with real people in real jobs, many of whom may have had their own journey to career success.
Exposure to what could be possible builds aspiration. A key component in self-determination.
Building confidence in young people to take opportunities
Milton, once a resident at Kids Haven, is now working at the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) and we couldn’t be more proud! Benoni residents, Milton and his sister spent a few years at Kids Haven because their home circumstances were difficult. They both entered our Aftercare programme. Milton got his degree in Business Information Systems at the University of Johannesburg but remained unemployed. Last year he volunteered at the Teen Hub and became a tutor teaching the teens basic Microsoft programmes and even got them coding! Kids Haven paid him a stipend at this point, so he learned to budget and manage an income. The SACAA put out a call for learnerships and Milton decided to apply – he got the job. The interviewers confirmed that Milton’s volunteering gave him the edge in his interview. Milton is thriving and we are encouraging him to fly high. Milton’s sister is a qualified Radiographer, and currently busy with her second degree to be a sonographer. They are resilient, focused, and optimistic about the future.
We also need:
Donations of smart clothing for interviews; artisan clothing (safety boots) and second-hand working lap top computers and smart phones. There is an urgent need for transport stipends so that Youth can travel to the Youth Hub, and to interviews and new jobs.
If you could assist in any way, please contact our Youth and Skills Development Manager, Tshepo Brand on firstname.lastname@example.org or 011 421 4222/081 301 0984.
We believe the Christmas season needs to be a special time for our children, young adults, caregivers and staff.
Here are 6 ways you can help:
- Donate stocking fillers such as:
- Packs of cards
- Packets of sweets like Jelly Tots or Jelly Babies
- Donate money, eats or party packs for our Pre-school Christmas party or Graduation party. We host all our pre-schoolers as well as their families for the Graduation party which includes a tea after the ceremony. There are 36 kids at the Pre-school. We would need 50 party packs to include any siblings.
- Sponsor our Christmas day meal – We cater for 150 people for our Christmas day breakfast and lunch. This usually includes something special for breakfast and then a 7-colour meal for lunch.
- Sponsor our Boxing Day picnic – We enjoy taking the children for a picnic on Boxing Day. While we will include any leftovers we always like to supplement this with picnic items if funds allow.
- Sponsor our New Years Day braai – Braaing on News Years Day is a fun tradition that all those at Kids Haven enjoy. We would so appreciate any food donations or monetary sponsorships to go towards making it a special day.
- Care packs for staff – Our 90 staff members work tirelessly throughout the year protecting and caring for our children and young adults. We love to thank them with a small care pack at the end of the year. We so appreciate donated items to go into packs that can include:
- Hand creams
- Small gifts like mugs, bookmarks etc
You can get involved by volunteering, donating money or second hand goods.
If you think your company could help make a difference please contact us.