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NC youth make space for change

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The focus of the programme was to identify socio-economic problems in Noupoort, transform the mind-set and value system of the participants and equip volunteers

CHANGE: Noupoort youth recently participated in a programme to improve and make a difference in their communities. Picture: Supplied

Unemployed young people from different youth groups and sports clubs in Noupoort recently participated in an Inclusive Neighbourhood Spaces Programme, aimed at creating cohesion to bring about local community change.

The focus of the programme, sponsored by the Noupoort Wind farm, was to identify socio-economic problems in Noupoort, transform the mind-set and value system of the participants and equip volunteers.

The issues covered included substance abuse, inequality, racism, unresponsive governance and sectionalism.

The participants mapped out key community resource services, essential organisations and businesses in their community, thereby identifying places within the community where violence and abuse usually take place.

They further identified a need for more community resources to improve the safety and well-being of children and youth.

The training provided skills such as communication, accountability, leadership, project planning, community mobilisation, active citizenship, budgeting, peace and conflict resolution skills.

“The young people, who have graduated as Inclusive Neighbourhood Spaces volunteers, are now better equipped to take on basic community problems and begin solving them, making use of newly acquired skills, to bring about personal development, community impact and active citizenship,” explained Livhuwani Nwachukwu, economic development manager of Noupoort Wind Farm.

“The training has also helped participants understand the concept of active citizenship.

“They learnt about sustainable development goals and how to link them to their obligated weekly and monthly deliverables as trained Inclusive Neighbourhood Spaces volunteers.”

One of the participants in the programme, Jesicca Alfreds said she learnt a lot and will be able to implement it in her daily life.

“The Inclusive Neighbourhood Spaces model will fit perfectly with the early childhood development programme I am currently studying.

“As a teacher, I can say with confidence that this model is what Noupoort needs to get people back to school and for them to stay in school.

“I also see parents joining and Noupoort becoming one big successful space. This training has been wonderful for me,” said Jessica Alfreds, a programme participant from Noupoort.