The Salesian Institute Youth Projects (SIYP) in Green Point held an open day to showcase their programmes and network with local businesses last Friday.
This event provided visitors an opportunity to gain first-hand experience with the four programmes on offer: hairdressing, hospitality, electrical and woodwork.
“The youth development programmes not only provide upskilling opportunities to marginalised youth, but also endeavour to place them into employment through networking with local business partners in Cape Town,” said Father Francois Dufour, CEO of the SIYP.
Natsai Matema, a SIYP hairdressing teacher, expressed her hope that the skills they teach will inspire learners to become entrepreneurs.
“Under normal circumstances, these children who no longer function in mainstream schooling will not have an opportunity to further their education. I feel that the vocational workshops, and especially hairdressing provide skills to youth that may lead to possibly starting their own little hairdressing business in their community and so ensuring financial empowerment,” said Ms Matema.
According to Gabriel Hamuy, the Youth Employability Programme Facilitator, they have seen how students develop over the course of the 12-month programmes.
“Taking a young person from an impoverished community and upskilling them, not only drives potential, but self- development from shy, and low confidence to an assertive young person with self-confidence, placing him or her in employment at the end, is what drives me, and makes this job very satisfying.”
SIYP’s communications manager, Frieda Pehlivan, said the open day was well attended and that it will become an annual event.
The Waterfront Rotary Club was also present, and the SIYP was chosen as their legacy project.
“The Waterfront Rotary Club has chosen us a legacy project which means they will invest their time and skills into the SIYP, so we look forward to this partnership. We believe that as an NGO, we offer the ideal corporate social responsibility avenue to businesses in Cape Town to get involved and make a difference,” said Ms Pehlivan