Education and Skills Training
It is a well known fact that South Africa has a skills shortage and that it is one of the reasons for the high unemployment in the country among the poor.
The main explanation for the lack of skills is found in the country’s history, bearing in mind the many years of apartheid where the education system mainly served the white minority. Although many changes have taken place since 1994, and a whole new plan for skills development has been developed and put into action, it will still take many more efforts before South Africans are sufficiently skilled to get jobs in a modern labour market or to start their own enterprises. This creates an acute problem with high unemployment especially among youth, which again leads to poor quality of life and takes many young people into drug abuse and crime.
Skills training forms the core of all Humana People to People projects. We believe that development is about building capacity and sharing skills. Local people in the communities have received training in various fields in order to contribute to their families and communities. The training combined with practical action have not only given many people the technical skills, but have given them opportunities to experience how these skills can transform their own and other people’s lives.
In TCE and HOPE, more than 1,800 people have received training in basic HIV and AIDS counselling and facilitation skills and many are now working in the NGO sector or in government institutions.
In Child Aid projects hundreds of community members have received training in a broad range of skills from sewing, gardening, catering and shoemaking to business management and counselling.
HPP in South Africa has recently been accredited with the Health and Welfare SETA (Sector of Education and Training Authorities) and is in the process of being registered with Department of Higher Education in the districts where it is operating.
HPP in South Africa’s through its partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal Experimental College trains Development Instructors in community development. The training is half theoretical, half practical. This collaboration started in year 2000 and hundreds of young South Africans have gone through the training, many now working as key staff in HPP projects in South Africa and other countries. The education is accredited by Education and Training SETA. The College is in the process of being registered as a FET College (Further Education and Training).
Working with Youth
The Youth is a chapter of its’ own. Growing up in a post-apartheid society still facing significant challenges puts a special demand to young South Africans. The country is still finding its feet towards creating decent human conditions for all its citizens, and the youth have to find their own way in the midst of that.
High expectations are often placed on youth to create a career for themselves within the new society. But opportunities are still scarce. In a society plagued with unemployment, this leaves the young people of South Africa in a difficult situation, sometimes leading them fall prey to social ills such as crime, alcohol and drug abuse and early pregnancy and tragically being infected by HIV.
HPP in South Africa looks upon young people as a great resource. They often constitute the mainstay of our project staff, either as employed outreach officers or as volunteers. Their commitment has always amazed us. They strive to give back to their own families and communities, doing whatever it takes to find a progressive path towards better conditions.
Young people need to be given opportunities to fulfil their dreams and develop their potential. Only then can they become adults that can take South Africa into a brighter future.
HPP in South Africa has recently developed a new project called Humana Youth in Action. It aims at giving young people from the ages of 15 to 24 years old an opportunity to develop themselves through further education on modern topics in an ever changing world. The education will develop their skills to be active citizens who will work to create better conditions, especially for the poor and vulnerable. The idea is to use this education as a springboard to their further career as progressive and active citizens.
HPP in South Africa works with the KwaZulu-Natal Experimental College to implement the Development Instructor Programme. This education aims at offering young people an opportunity to develop their skills as Community Facilitators and Leaders who can spearhead community development programmes. The programme has recently been accredited by the Education and Training SETA (Sector Education and Training Authorities). Yearly the College has an intake 100 participants. The programme runs over a period of a year, of which the participants get 6 months community practice in Humana People to People projects in Southern Africa.