Call to help unemployed youth

The Salesian Institute Youth Projects (SIYP) is calling on South Africans to help change the lives of the country’s unemployed youth.

They are appealing for even the smallest donations, which will help fund programmes so that the youth can maximise their future potential.

SIYP offer tailor-made youth programmes and technical training for young men and women. This includes help with job placement and they also provide meals and clothing.

SIYP CEO Hilton Nyirenda said nearly 44% of South African youth either drop out or do not attend school even though they have a right to basic education.

“It is precisely these youth who slide into a life of gangsterism, crime, drug and alcohol abuse, violence, poverty and cycle of hopelessness which continues to repeat itself without sustainable unemployment,” said Mr Nyirenda.

“The unemployed percentage of youth who do not finish school has reached a critical stage,” he said.

He said they want to reduce poverty by promoting employment among the youth but they cannot do it alone.

They rely heavily on donations to keep operating and although some funding is received from the Western Cape Department of Education, it isn’t nearly enough to increase their impact.

“Our target this year is ambitious but necessary to give youth the opportunity to rise above their circumstances and become productive citizens.

In 2017, 352 people were assisted in various ways through the Salesian outreach activities and by the end of 2018 we hope to have 5 300 people having had their lives changed through our various initiatives,” said Mr Nyirenda.

He said it will cost SIYP around R18 million this year to give youth at risk an opportunity to rise above their circumstances and become productive citizens through the organisation’s various initiatives.

He said people had the opportunity to change their lives when their outlook changed; they needed to be nurtured and empowered.

“Our new appeal campaign is to demonstrate how a person is born with an empty book, their story is not yet written, and how this story unfolds can change in just one moment,” said Mr Nyirenda.

“In our case or in the case of the youths whose lives we touch, a simple contribution can go a long way in influencing their story to take a positive turn.

“We hope that by heeding the call for donations we can continue to inspire and enable marginalised youth to dream and succeed with dignity.”

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