I am a black youth, born 1990 into a previously colonized country called South Africa. We are born into harsh societies that have less or no opportunities, more especially when you come from a township like ours. Orange Farm previously known as Wielers farm, used to be a maize and cattle farm belonging to the Wieler brothers from the Grasmere area. It is one of the youngest townships that was inhabited by furloughed farm workers during 1988. We are 27 years into democracy, however since 2019 statistics have shown that 63% of South African youth are faced with unemployment and research also shows that the youth are faced with high risks of being vulnerable to crime. 12.2% of young people experience some form of neglect in their lifetime. The department of social development has revealed that 29% of youth have been admitted for alcohol abuse. Further challenges in our townships are teenage pregnancies, absenteeism of father figures, substance and physical abuse.
My success story begins five months ago, in a community filled with loving, hard-working, skilful, educated and business minded people who are not granted opportunities because of our environment. There is little development in our community and Afrika Tikkun has been the most significant instrument in empowering young people with critical skills needed to prepare us for the workplace. Looking back at the past few months before getting this opportunity at Afrika Tikkun, life had less meaning as every day was a repetition of the something’s you do every day. This opportunity has given me purpose and the courage to look forward to a new day and has also ignited the hope I have in a better future for myself.
Being at home and with the restrictions of the covid-19 pandemic, it has been a struggle to me both mentally and financially. I know that the decision of coming to Afrika Tikkun to achieve my goals has been one of the best choices I have made this year. I know this decision will benefit me and my family in the long run.
I have grown emotionally and have learnt so much from the career development programme. I never thought that I would acquire skills such as self-awareness, leadership, money, people and entrepreneurship skills used to better or succeed in my life. I love the fact that as students with different life experiences, we have found a way to impact each other positively and be respectful to others. I have also learnt to keep an open-mind, willingness to learn and being mindful towards other people, because I know all the valuable feedback from my peers and facilitator is to make things easier and it will ultimately be of great help in shaping me to be a better person.
In everything I do, I really try to do my best and complete all tasks given on time. I come to Afrika Tikkun Services to empower myself and gain more knowledge and this has been achieved thus far. The opportunity granted to us has been a truly incredible journey and experience, and I am grateful to be here and see this programme through. In closing I would like to say I will leave this Centre inspired, ready to work and with economic empowerment.