Vocational Skills for Youth
The Vocational Skills programme is focused on providing opportunities for young people, who aren’t finishing school and mostly leaving school at Grade nine or sitting at home after completing their matric. The prospects for these children are limited and the tendency is that the children end up getting involved in destructive behaviours which further exacerbate the social pathologies of the Winelands.
The idea for each vocational skills programme will be to establish social needs and begin aligning our programmes accordingly to ensure that our learners will have good exit opportunities and will be able to access jobs. This means working closely with potential employers.
This programme seeks to empower the lives of these children through three initiatives:
• Umzi Wethu which offers a catering and hospitality qualification for matriculants and ensures that they are placed into jobs, once they have completed the course;
• Aftercare for senior and junior pupiles aims to catch the children whilst in the lower grades and begin to build their capabilities in maths, reading, writing skills so that they have a greater chance of completing matric;
• Livelihoods programme which focuses on practical technical skills, such as welding, construction and farming to name a few.
Umzi Wethu Training Academy for Vulnerable Youth
About Umzi Wethu
Umzi Wethu, meaning "our homestead" in IsiXhosa, provides vulnerable young people with a nurturing environment in which to develop the work and life skills required to enable them to enter the formal employment market. The Umzi Wethu Training Academy for Vulnerable Youth is a dynamic intervention model that offers skills development and job placement to youths who, despite incredibly adverse circumstances, have shown resilience and ambition. Denied opportunities to access training and jobs due to circumstances generally beyond their control, Umzi Wethu transforms these youths into highly employable young adults.
The Umzi Wethu Academies have been run successfully by the Wilderness Foundation in the Eastern Cape of South Africa with nine intakes in the sectors of Hospitality and Conservation since establishing in 2006. Umzi Wethu’s ultimate success is measured by the number of graduates currently employed as it is the emotional and financial gains which come with having a sustainable livelihood that begin to reverse the cycles of social and financial vulnerability. Since the first graduation, 97% of graduates have entered the workplace and Umzi Wethu has always maintained an 85% success rate in terms of graduates remaining in employment or further education. Furthermore, 10% of graduates have progressed into junior management positions.
Umzi Wethu Stellenbosch Academy
Building on the success of the existing Umzi Wethu Academies, the Sustainability Institute and Wilderness Foundation are currently running the first Umzi intake in the Western Cape.
The Hospitality programme runs over a 10 month period that sees students staying in the Lynedoch Ecovillage. The programme is currently focused around the National Certificate in Professional Cookery (NQF 4). Students' time at the academy is spent either learning the theoretical foundations in the classroom under the guidance of our qualified facilitator or gaining valuable practical work experience at the Spier Wine Estate. The students are therefore equipped to enter hospitality jobs in urban and rural establishments.
The model is holistic in nature, meeting not only academic needs and progression, but also the need for basic life skills, communication skills and experience in nature. Our students spend time on Wildernes trails, learning about sustainability, cooking using solar energy and recycled material, going on coffee barista courses and gaining a level 1 first aid certificate to name a few.
1. Manage Umzi Wethu Academies as nurturing home environments, meeting basic needs, and developing personal wellness
2. Utilize wilderness experiences and nature-based activities to prepare students for jobs in eco-tourism and as a source of personal growth
3. Deliver accredited vocational training combined with learnerships (internships), and place Umzi Wethu graduates in sustainable paying jobs in partnering hospitality establishments
4. Teach practical life skills. Umzi Wethu students are also mentored throughout training and during transition into the workplace
Many of the Lynedoch Valley youth are not completing traditional schooling, and therefore have few if any good life choices ahead of them. These are youth at risk who find themselves in various challenging social situation. They:
• are not given correct career guidance in terms of subject choice or future study or employment opportunities
• do not have access to resources/information
• lack good basic literacy and numeracy skills
• do not have finances or marks to study further
• ack self-esteem and hope
• do not have good role models
The Livelihoods Programme addresses these needs – exposing our youth to different training modules – welding, sustainable agriculture, computer skills, and carpentry to name a few possibilities. To effectively run a programme that addresses the needs of our youth, we also need to identify the needs of the local market – what is the market looking for in terms of skills and capabilities.
We already have the following qualification accredited:
ID : 65969 Further Education and Training Certificate: Human Settlement Development Level 1 credits 120
The Lynedoch Aftercare Programme is passionate about being more than simply a space for children to be looked after while parents are working. It aims to develop programmes that are well thought out and planned, providing the children with both a safe environment and stimulation.
We seek to empower the youth with hope and vision for the future. Many of our teenagers are not completing school at this point in time for a variety of reasons (lack of hope, motivation, finances, social pressure etc). The youth need clear goals, and then have the motivation and support to pursue them.
Objectives of the Programme
1. To provide a safe haven for children in the area by providing caring adult supervision during the hours after school and before the children go home.
2. To enhance academic performance by providing homework assistance and remedial support.
3. To promote educational values, pro-social activities, social skills training and promotion of self-esteem.
4. To provide culturally enriching experiences that participants would otherwise not have had (e.g.art & crafts, drama, sport, karate etc).
5. Individual attention is important, and the group size is therefore limited.
The Programme Outline
As the children arrive after school their routine is as follows:
1. A healthy lunch is provided and eaten together - they also get fresh fruit every day.
2. They always receive assistance with their homework on a daily basis.