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					                                                                                C E L E B R AT I N G
The Youth Development Network
The Youth Development Network (YDN) is a network of
seven youth development non-governmental organisations.
The work of its member organisations with young people
lies primarily in the areas of skills training, youth entrepre-
neurship and community development.At a national level,
the YDN focuses on research and documentation, advocacy
and capacity building.

Our members are:
Southern African Association of Youth Clubs
Joint Enrichment Project
Junior Achievement South Africa
School Leavers Opportunity Training
Centre for Education and Enterprise Development
Establishment for Comprehensive Youth Development
Resource Action Group

For more information about the YDN visit:
Introduction   Celebrating young people                                                                                                                     Celebrating young people                 1

               “We live at the edge of                                                                 Mr. Fix – It!
               the miraculous”                                                                         Mbongeni Nene, 25

               – Henry Miller
                                                                                                                  Mbongeni Nene is a 25-year-        struggled for a long time to find employ-
                                                                                                                  old young man from Umlazi, in      ment in his field. He was desperate for

                       outh is… a reason we celebrate.     beauty in youth action and service.                    KwaZulu-Natal. He participat-      hands-on training, and eventually
                       But, a cause to celebrate even           In keeping with this vision, the YDN              ed in a Business Management        secured a one month internship with
                       more is when young people           has as part of its commitment to youth                 training programme conducted       Motorkhono in which he was trained in
               start their own businesses, initiate com-   development, committed itself to                       by the Center for Education        how to fix gearboxes and differentials.
               munity development projects and             reversing the increasing negative images               and Enterprise Development
               change the face of South Africa             of young people with much of the social                (CEED) in 1999, and has never      So the journey begins…
                                                           ills attributed to them.                    looked back.                                  It was during this time, with the frustra-
               Some one has to take notice and                  Through its activities the YDN has          On meeting Mbongeni, one cannot          tion of not being able to find work, that
               award the youths courage and                recognized the need to highlight the        help but immediately notice his commit-       Mbongeni decided to set up his own
               dedication in development.                  often-unacknowledged successes of           ment to and passion for what he does.         workshop at home. He wanted to set
               The Youth Development Network               young people often faced with incredi-      Mbongeni started his trade while he was       up a service and mechanic workshop in
               (YDN) sees the need to highlight the        ble odds against them. South Africa is      still at school. His love and passion for     which he specialized in gearboxes; dif-
               often unacknowledged successes of           endowed with talented and ambitious         repairing cars can be traced to his early     ferentials and general car related
               young people who through their cre-         young people who despite the odds are       days – he spent his time as child not         repairs. He developed flyers in which he
               ative efforts have become revolutionar-     committed to creating alternative liveli-   playing soccer like other boys his age but    advertised his services, which he
               ies- impacting South Africa positively.     hood opportunities not only for them-       watching the mechanics in the local area      offered for free – only charging for the
                   It thus honours young people who        selves but for others as well.              fix cars. He would help them by under-        labour costs. Mbongeni was also offered
               eradicate poverty by creating jobs and           This booklet is about young people     taking mundane tasks such as fetching         a job at a school for hearing-impaired
               advancing development, hence an             who have succeeded in various pro-          water for them or any related activities.     learners, to provide training in metal
               achievement of one young person is an       grammes offered by the YDN. As a                 Mbongeni completed his matric in         work. Not only did he train the pupils
               achievement for the whole community.        result these young people have started      1996 and soon afterwards went on to           at school, but he also selected a few
                   If we won’t celebrate their passion     their own businesses, demonstrated          Umlazi Technikon to study motor               whom he trained at his workshop.
               and commitment, we will be failing          leadership within their communities         mechanics. Mbongeni initially wanted to           It was also at this time that his older
               future generations who will see no          and have applied the skills learnt.         be a pilot or an aircraft engineer but        brother informed him of CEED and its

                                                                                                       because his family did not have funds to      services. Mbongeni did not waste any
                                                                                                       help him, he turned to motor mechanics.       time and immediately approached
                                                                                                       He also trained in metal work, to diver-      CEED to find out about the pro-
                                                                                                       sify his skills base.After he completed his   grammes they offered. He enrolled
                                                                                                       course at the technikon, Mbongeni             in the Business Management train-
Celebrating young people                                                                                                                      Celebrating young people                3

ing course, which ran for a period of         that I cannot take on big jobs. I take 2-
two weeks, with a programme com-              3 cars a day depending on the size of
posed of varied elements pertaining to        the job, so that the owners can collect
running and managing ones own busi-
ness. He learnt a great deal about him-
                                              them later on in the day.This continues
                                              to be a challenge, as I cannot grow the     Interaction Youth Project
self and his management style, as well as     business the way I would like to. I am      Alpheus Mogaswa, 27
about communication and leadership            weary of loans from the bank and
skills.                                       believe that I will grow my business
     At the end of the programme,             from the revenue that I will make”

                                                                                                   lpheus Magaswa met Golden           ter serve his community.
Mbongeni approached CEED to spon-                   “To be honest with you, it is very             Manaka in 1998 while volun-             Alpheus spent a year with the insti-
sor him to get further training in motor      difficult to see real benefits. That is              teering as HIV/AIDS facilitators    tution, where he was trained in busi-
mechanics. By this time CEED had              something I have to continuously think      at the Unit R clinic in Lebowakgomo,         ness studies. It was during this time that
noticed his passion and commitment to         about. I am driven by my passion and        they both shared a dream of starting a       his passion for community service
the development of his business, and          love for technical work.That is the only    community development and training           gained greater clarity. He contacted
without hesitation made arrangements          benefit – that I get to do what I love,     centre. They set their minds in estab-       Golden who shared his passion, and had
to sponsor him to get further training.       and if I am lucky make some money out       lishing the Lebowakgomo Interaction          also been a volunteer at the clinic. Both
At the end of his training, he continued      of it. “                                    Youth Project.                               wanted to find a way in which they
with his business, which had continued                                                        Alpheus is the manager of the proj-      could bring certain services closer to
to operate in his absence.                    Vision for the future:                      ect and the youngest of eight siblings.      their communities.
     Mbongeni currently employs three         “I would love to see the business grow,     Alpheus was born in Johannesburg and
people, his business has been operating       creating enough revenue so as to cre-       soon after his birth his mother moved        So the journey begins…
for five years, and continues to grow.        ate more employment opportunities           to Lebowakgomo where he grew up              With no capital, Alpheus and Golden
The fact that the business is still run-      for people. Living and operating from       and was educated. After matriculating        (his partner) sought input and direction
ning is reason enough to believe that it      the township is a daily reminder of the     in 1997, he signed up with the local clin-   from friends on how they could realize
is successful.                                high rate of unemployment, and I            ic to be trained as an HIV/AIDS facilita-    their dream. They approached the
                                              would like to employ as many people         tor. Having completed his training,          Principal of a crèche in their communi-
Challenges:                                   as possible.”                               Alpheus went on to volunteer as an           ty and shared what was at the time just
‘It has been five years since I started                                                   HIV/AIDS facilitator for the clinic. It      a dream. The Principal moved by their
and by the looks of things I still have a     Message to other young                      was during this time that his passion        zeal and commitment, created a space
long way to go. I still have day-to-day       people                                      and love for serving his community           within the premises of the crèche for
operational challenges. Operating in the      “Starting and running your own busi-        became clear.                                them to use at no cost.
local community is not without chal-          ness is not for everyone.You must have          After a year’s service at the clinic,        Having secured a space for their
lenges, the safety of clients vehicles is a   passion and be driven by it.The passion     Alpheus enrolled with the Thabamoopo         operations, the young men sought assis-
constant threat and challenge. I am           must reside deep in your heart and only     College of Education in Lebowakgomo.         tance in developing a funding proposal
always afraid of vehicles or vehicle parts    from there can you call out for help.       Although he at the time wasn’t sure of       for their intended work, which they sub-
being stolen since I don’t have a secure      That is the only way you can make your      his purpose, he did know that he want-       mitted to the National Development
workshop. This puts pressure on me in         business your asset.’                       ed to find a way in which he could bet-      Agency (NDA). To their utter amaze-

      fix-it                                                                              interaction
Celebrating young people                                                                                                                   Celebrating young people              5

ment their proposal was successful and      their training center and the ETDP-        ECYD, and received training in leader-        to-date has trained about 40 young
approved. As a result, the young men        SETA has accredited their training.        ship and project management as well as        people.
were further assisted in concretizing       Their project mainly targets unem-         life skills.The main purpose of this train-       The project is also expanding –
their plans and received an initial grant   ployed young people and high school        ing was to equip them with relevant           Alpheus says they want to play an even
of about R100 000.                          students, but anyone in the community      information around leadership and proj-       bigger role in the neighbouring high
     Alpheus and Golden wasted no           can access the training. The Interaction   ect management techniques. Being in           schools, which currently do not have
time in getting into business. They pur-    Youth Project has also established rela-   affiliation with ECYD gave them an            computers. The project aims to estab-
chased office equipment – computers,        tionships with various private sector      opportunity to network and work with          lish partnerships with these schools to
faxes and photocopiers – to set up a        institutions that provide further train-   other established organizations.              provide computer training to their
resource and computer training center.      ing in computers and related areas.                                                      pupils.
They also purchased garden tools for            It was during this time that Alpheus   Operation and Vision:                             Currently, the project is in the
the vegetable garden.                       and Golden made formal contact with        The Lebowakgomo Interaction Youth             process of building working relation-
     Simultaneously, they participated in   the Establishment for Comprehensive        Project is an example of an effective         ships with a number of private sector
a computer-training course that quali-      Youth Development (ECYD), a youth          and successful youth development proj-        service providers. In an effort to
fied them as computer trainers. Thus        development organization in Limpopo        ect. Driven by the simple principles of       improve the service and reach a wider
they set up the center to offer training    Province, which runs programmes tar-       hard work and sheer passion, Alpheus,         audience, the project seeks to provide
in - MsWord; Keyboarding; Excel; Power      geted at developing young people.          with Golden as a property manager,            training in computer skills, cellphone
Point and Access, as well as secretarial    Alpheus and Golden registered their        operates a busy centre, which trains          repairs and computer upgrading.
training. To date, they have registered     organisation as an affiliate member of     people in basic computer literacy and         Alpheus said their local community can

    Alpheus, Goldi and friends, active in their vegetable garden                       Participants in the training centre
  Celebrating young people                                                                                                                       Celebrating young people                  7

   benefit from such a service, as they are      ices closer to the people. Again, those
   far from the city and all the economic        who come to the center do not want
   activity – their vision is to bring servic-   to pay for the training. As a result it
   es closer to the people.

                                                 poses a serious challenge to our own
                                                 survival.                                    “DON’T SWEAT IT!”
                                                     We still don’t get paid; any profit we   Muhammed Patel, 20
   Three months after purchasing and set-        make immediately goes into the opera-
   ting up their center, their computers         tions of our center. That is a big chal-
   were stolen. This was a set back but          lenge, but we are very hopeful about

                                                                                                      ou cannot help but be inspired      of study, Muhammed says that from a
                                                 the future.”                                         by the energy, zeal and passion     very early age he wanted to be an entre-
                                                                                                      of this young man – after only a    preneur – he knew that he did not want
                                                 What makes your services                     few minutes with him, you can’t help        to spend the rest of his life working for
“      The future lies in your
       hands. Yes, there are seri-
                                                 “The fact that we are one of the few
                                                                                              but be immediately inspired to start
                                                                                              your own business. Now a lot can be
                                                                                                                                          someone else, although initially he will, in
                                                                                                                                          order to gain experience for setting up
ous challenges in reaching your
                                                 organizations that operate in our com-       said about that! At the age of 20,          his own business.
goals, but life benefits only those
                                                 munity says a lot about us. We are a         Muhammed is already making serious
                                                                                                                                          And so the journey
who are willing to try
                                      ”          walking distance from many community
                                                 members as opposed to the institutions
                                                                                              headway in the business scene. He
                                                                                              describes himself as incredibly zealous     begins…
                                                 in town. Again, we provide affordable        and as having a special sense for busi-     After six months of working at the fac-
   Alpheus and Golden did not give-up.           courses which are within reach for many      ness – and he speaks passionately of his    tory he was promoted and the company
   They set up necessary security to             unemployed community members.”               vision for the future and his role in it.   drew up a new contract for him – he
   ensure that the risk was minimized.                                                            Muhammed was born and raised in         became a permanent casual and took on
                                                 Benefits of running your                     Lenasia, and is the only son in a family    a supervisory position in the cashier
   Another notable challenge for                 own business:                                of four. Upon completing matric, he         department. In his new position he was
   them was the issue around                     “One of the most notable benefit is that     took a six month break, which he used       responsible for authorizing sale returns
   resources and sustainability.                 we get to do what we love and hopeful-       to better orient himself with his reli-     and sale vouchers. He also received addi-
   “Some people in the community do not          ly one day make a living out of it.”         gion – which he believes holds his life     tional training in various management-
   always appreciate and understand the                                                       together. He enrolled in a cultural stud-   related areas. As if that was not enough,
   intent of good initiatives. They see us       Message to other young                       ies course with an organisation in          he was later promoted to become a co-
   setting up a computer center and they         people:                                      Lenasia, in which he memorised sec-         administrator, responsible for company
   immediately assume that we have               “The future lies in your hands.Yes, there    tions of the Quran (the Muslim holy         reconciliation and stocktaking, and was
   money.                                        are serious challenges in reaching your      book). Having completed the course, he      also responsible for the overall opera-
       They do not know or understand            goals, but life benefits only those who      found part time employment at Queens        tions of the ladies department.At the age
   how hard we worked to get these serv-         are willing to try.”                         Park, a retail factory in Lenasia.          of 18, Muhammed had moved up through
                                                                                                  Muhammed is currently registered        the ranks of the factory – and finished up
                                                                                              with the University of the Witwatersrand    as a member of the management team.
                                                                                              as a second year Bachelor of Commerce           Muhammed was also involved in

  interaction                                                                                 student, majoring in Finance and
                                                                                              Management he. Asked about his choice
                                                                                                                                          two youth development organiza-
                                                                                                                                          tions. Asked how he managed all
Celebrating young people                                                                                                                           Celebrating young people              9

these activities, his response was that he      ment and/or start their own business.
thrived on being busy, and that is where        The programme runs for a period of 11
he drew his energy and inspiration. In          weeks in which the participants set up
the meantime, his father was also in the
process of setting up his own business.
                                                and run a mini company of their choice.
                                                Participants are recruited from different     The Challenge, the
Given the knowledge and skills he was
gaining from his experience at the facto-
                                                cultural backgrounds. Continuous men-
                                                toring is provided to the participants        Chance, and the…Change
ry, Mohammed decided to assist his              throughout the duration of the project.       Thandokazi Mashiya, 22
father overcome the operational chal-                Instead of working in a group,
                                                Muhammed decided to go at it alone as
                                                he says he had been dreaming and plan-

                                                                                                      handokazi Mashiya is a 22-year-       explore the job market; staying with

“   The Mini Enterprise                         ning his business for a long time. He did             old young woman from Queens-          friends for the most part of that year.
    programme is fun
                                     ”          all the groundwork with regards to the
                                                product prior to participating in the pro-
                                                gramme. He wanted to develop a substi-
                                                                                                      town in the Eastern Cape. She
                                                                                              participated in the Inner City Youth
                                                                                              Service Project hosted by the Joint
                                                                                                                                                She experienced rejection after
                                                                                                                                            rejection.Thando crept into depression
                                                                                                                                            as she lost all hope and self-worth. She
lenges of setting up a new business, and        tute deodorant stick – using a catchy and     Empowerment Project (JEP) between             blamed her parents for the break-up of
assisted his father with the basic man-         trendy label “BOD-X DON’T                     September 2002 and September 2003.            her family. For a while she carried a lot
agement of the business.                        SWEAT IT!” he proceeded to tell                   Thando, as she is commonly called,        of anger and frustration with her.
    According to Muhammed, his experi-          friends and contacts about his idea.To his    can move you with her humble yet con-             In 2002, she gained the courage to
ence at the factory set the tone and            surprise, the idea was met with great         fident nature. She is the eldest in a fami-   look for a job, but was rejected and told
foundation for his interest and choice of       enthusiasm from key people. This not          ly of three siblings, and spent most of her   that she had no work experience. What
study – and he soon enrolled with the           only confirmed the viability of his idea      growing years in East London with her         crushed her spirit most was “the lack of
University of the Witwatersrand in              but also the possible success of it.As part   aunt and mother. She matriculated in          faith people had towards young people,”
Johannesburg. While at university he            of the Mini Enterprise programme activi-      1999 and set off to Pretoria University       she says. Soon she moved with her father
heard about Junior Achievement and its          ties, Muhammed was expected to devel-         where she pursued a Law degree.               who then had relocated to Johannesburg.
Mini Enterprise Programme from a                op a one page business plan in which he       However, in her first year at university
friend. He called Junior Achievement to         was expected to clearly articulate his        her family experienced serious strains        So the journey begins…
ask about the programme, although he            business idea as well as how he would         with the divorce of her parents. As a         Upon her return from one of her trips
knew he had missed the deadline, and            execute it.                                   result of the divorce, she was unable to      – looking for employment, Thando
begged to be allowed to participate in               He presented his idea in front of an     further her LLB degree the following          found forms attached to the door of a
the programme. Needless to say, he was          audience, competing against 100 other         year. Her dreams were shattered, she          flat she shared with her father.A Project
admitted to the programme and joined            students in Gauteng, and to his delight he    was devastated and as if that was not         Coordinator from JEP had left the
the rest of the group.                          made the top 3 students.                      enough, her life went from bad to worse.      forms for the Inner City Youth Service
    The Mini Enterprise programme is a               He will soon be competing at a               In 2001, Thando was forced to             Project. Uninterested, she put the
fun and engaging programme that pro-            regional level, and to date he has also       return to the Eastern Cape, as she no         forms away. She certainly was not inter-
vides business and related life skills train-   registered his product.                       longer had financial support from her         ested in some youth development proj-

 ing to young people.These skills include                                                     parents. For a period of six months she       ect. All she wanted to do at the time
    learning how to actively participate in                                                   stayed in the Eastern Cape. Later she         was to go back to university and

     don’t sweat it!
     corporate and industrial employ-                               continued on page 24      decided to return to Johannesburg and         pursue her studies.
0   Celebrating young people                                                                                                                   Celebrating young people              11

        Her father encouraged her to apply        stand why they mixed the group up, that
    for the programme especially since she        made me feel highly uncomfortable.”
    was not doing anything. She finally com-          However, after a while in the project
    pleted the application and sent it to JEP.
    A few days later she received a call from
                                                  her fears were soon laid to rest by the
                                                  Life Skills component of the pro-           Eyona Yona:The Real One
    JEP to come through for an interview          gramme. “This component of the pro-         Marileze Johannes, 21
    and assessment.To her delight she made        gramme made me realise so many
    it through the assessment and was             things I thought I knew about myself, it
    selected to participate in the project.       helped build my confidence again.”

                                                                                                        t the age of 21, Marileze       preparation, scored second highest
        “It felt good to be selected for              An additional component of the                    Johannes is already Managing    out of the 20 participants. This
    something, it made me feel good about         programme was participating in the                    Director of her own company     marked the beginning of a long and
    myself, a feeling I had not felt for two      tourism course.Thando’s horizons were       – Eyona Yona, a skills development and    exciting journey.
    years, I had forgotten about what it felt     widened beyond being a law student.         placement agency in the Western Cape.         At the age of 13, Marileze was a
    like to be wanted.”                           She now holds a tour-guiding certificate        Marileze was born and raised in the   qualified computer trainer and went on
        The Inner City Youth Service              and has applied to the Gauteng Tourism      Cape Flats and from a young age was       to train matric pupils including unem-
    Programme is a year-long programme            and the proposed Constitutional Hill for    determined to become someone and          ployed and out of school young after
    that targets inner city youth. Its primary    further training and employment.            contribute to her community. Frank        school for RAG. Later, she also got
    objective is to develop the abilities of          Listening to her speak, says a lot      Julie, former director of the Resource    involved in RAG’s rural outreach pro-
    young people through service and learn-       about the programme and its impact.         Action Group (RAG) recruited              gramme, where she trained rural youth
    ing. The programme seeks to enable            She boldly speaks of her other untold       Marileze at the age of 12, although at    in computer literacy, as well as partici-
    young people to develop their skills,         passions and dreams. “This is evidence      the time RAG was still just an idea of    pating in RAG’s annual youth camps.
    knowledge and ability – necessary to          of regaining your self-worth as a young     Frank’s – but Marelize saw his vision,        Over the years she worked for
    make the transition to healthy independ-      person,” she says. Thando would still       and came on board.                        RAG, Marileze was not paid, but when
    ent adulthood. It also seeks to give          like to become lawyer one day.                  At RAG, Marileze started off as a     asked what kept her going, she said she
    young people a way out of long-term                                                       volunteer, was later trained as a com-    was “driven by passion and a sheer
    unemployment by providing them with           Asked what her plans were from              puter trainer and moved on to train       love” for what she was doing.
    tangible opportunities that increase their    here, this is what she had to say.          others. However her development was           After matric, Marileze decided to
    likelihood of accessing the economy.          “I think I am now ready for the chal-       not without obstacles. The criterion      take a short break from her work with
        Having gone through the orientation,      lenges that I am almost certain life will   for volunteers was that they should be    RAG. Because there was no money
    Thando was convinced that this was “for       present especially out of the project. I    aged between 18 and 35 – despite her      available at home, she was unable to
    real” and not some “bogus” programme.         am scared because after a year of being     having been recruited by Frank at the     access formal higher education. So
    The participants were taken to camp for       in a project like this one, it becomes      age of 12.                                Marelize found employment working as
    the introductory phase of the pro-            your only source of confidence, strength        Prospective volunteers were also      a dispatch officer, a personal assistant
    gramme. Thando says that she initially        and almost restores your faith in the       expected to take an entrance exam in      and a legal assistant. However, Marileze
    struggled to integrate with other partic-     world. However I am confident that it       order to determine their skills and       decided to go back and volunteer her
    ipants especially those who were differ-      has at least given me the tools to know     competency levels. Despite a number       services to RAG in the evening.
      ent from her. She says that the most dif-   how to deal with rejection, disappoint-     of people objecting to her involve-           During her years at school she had
         ficult part was learning to integrate    ment and sometimes failure. I am nerv-      ment at RAG, Marileze decided to          noticed that she found it increasing-
           with ex-convicts. “I didn’t under-     ous but confident at the same time.”        take the exam and after rigorous          ly difficult to relate to her peers at
2     Celebrating young people                                                                                                                       Celebrating young people               13

       school, since she spent most of her           was able to meet their requirements          promised to assist her further. As a        ongoing communication with clients in
       social time relating to adults. RAG also      almost immediately. This success con-        result, Marileze was invited by RAG to      order to address any problems arising
       inadvertently became her social life.         firmed her desire and dream to offer         link her service with a RAG initiative –    in the internship.
           While working, Marileze noticed           services to people in her immediate          the Community Outreach Programme,               Internship periods range from 3
       that there was an increased demand for        community.                                   which focuses on individuals in NGOs        weeks to 3 months, and Eyona Yona
       the services of people at the lower end                                                    and Community Based Organisations           targets individuals between the ages
       of the skills ratio. She also realized that   And so the journey                           (CBOs) who lack the financial means to      18-35 years. These individuals usually
       there were many people looking for            begins…                                      access RAG’s computer training pro-         have little to no job experience and
       employment but that there was no              After this success, Marilize mobilsed        grammes.These participants are trained      have a low educational background,
                                                     people around her for support – a            at a reduced rate, and are recommend-
                                                     friend offered his garage as office space,   ed to RAG by their organisation, and
                                                     and her partner put together some of         are expected to plough back the skills
    “      Another challenge was
           that she did not have the                 his resources to assist her in purchasing
                                                     a telephone line and fax machine. She
                                                                                                  gained into their communities.
                                                                                                      Once the participants have com-
                                                                                                                                               “       Eyona Yona is evidence of
                                                                                                                                                       RAG’s success, as well as its
    resources to train and equip her                                                                                                           own, as it was started by a RAG
                                                     also continued to buy newspapers daily       pleted the programme, they are now
    people with skills.                                                                                                                        volunteer
                                          ”          to look at what opportunities were
                                                     available on the market.
                                                                                                  linked with Eyona Yona’s skills develop-
                                                                                                  ment and placement programme. Eyona                                                ”
                                                         Soon after, Marileze won an addi-        Yona helps participants develop their
       agency catering for the particular needs      tional contract to find ten painters.This    CV’s, provides them with further inter-     usually between grade 8-12.The major-
       of those at the lower end of the skills       was a simple exercise – she placed an        views and training, and at the same time    ity of people who come through the
       ratio.                                        advertisement in the paper saying            prepares them for placements in             programme are women.
           Having lost interest in her job as a      “Painter looking for a job” and soon         internship programmes. The partici-
       personal assistant, Marileze resigned         after she received a call from a compa-      pants are then placed in accordance         Evidence of success
       and decided to start a service for the        ny looking for services of not one but       with their career interests and skills      Eyona Yona is evidence of RAG’s suc-
       lower skills end of the job market. She       ten painters. She then found the             training.                                   cess, as well as its own, as it was start-
       did some research into the industry           painters and sent them through. This             In addition to its own selection cri-   ed by a RAG volunteer. Since Eyona
       and the results confirmed her inten-          was Marileze’s first paid assignment, as     teria, Eyona Yona is guided by the          Yona has linked with RAG, about 15% of
       tions. In addition, she got a lot of sup-     she made a profit of R90 for every           requirements of the employers. It plays     its participants have been successfully
       port from other people who confirmed          painter. Having succeeded, her new           an important role in ensuring that the      placed in permanent employment, with
       her impression and encouraged her to          challenge was not only to focus on           client’s needs are met and acts as a link   about 75% being placed in internships.
       get going. Marelize started off by devel-     unskilled workers, but also to find and      between the client and the participants.        Marileze has been awarded a 2-year
       oping CVs for people, using her partner       place skilled people in jobs. Another        As part of its commitment to excep-         contract by RAG to implement a com-
       as a contact person if any of the             challenge was that she did not have the      tional service, Eyona Yona works close-     ponent of their Operation Hope
       prospective employers called requiring        resources to train and equip her people      ly with the client during the internship    Programme, with her challenge being to
       the services of those people.                 with skills.                                 and first phase of placement. Eyona         place 250 participants a year. In
           Hardly a week after submitting the            She then contacted Frank Julie, and      Yona also – where possible – assists in     between all of this, she has also been
        CVs of the individuals she had regis-        informed him of her initiative and her       the development of contracts and            awarded a contract with South Africa’s
           tered, a paint company called her         needs. Frank was delighted to hear that      stipend payments for the participants.      Nylon Spinners in which she has

            eyona yona: the real one
            asking for painters, and Marelize        she had started her own service and          In addition, they ensure that there is      placed and assisted 10 employees
4     Celebrating young people                                                                                                                        Celebrating young people                15

      children to access employment oppor-         vides. In addition, she noted that she
      tunities, by training them in office         worked without a salary for 2 years as
      administration. She is also currently in     it is only in its’ third year that her com-
      the process of setting up her own com-
      puter center, where she will provide
                                                   pany has started to make an income.
                                                        Asked what she liked the most            You must be… Driving
      training to her participants. She has also   about her job, Marelize said that she got     Fikile Zibudi, 28
      just moved to new office space in            satisfaction from knowing that she
      Observatory in order to become               made a difference in somebody’s life –
      accessible to a wider range of people.       she wants to add monetary value to

                                                                                                       ikile Zibudi is not just driving peo-   selling a mini-bus taxi. Fikile put down a
                                                   people’s lives.                                     ple around - he is pursuing a           R15 000 deposit for the taxi, which was
                                                                                                       dream. Born in Spruitview, Fikile       all money he had saved.
                                                   Benefits:                                     was recently elected chairperson of the            Having a good relationship with his
    “     Find whatever opportuni-
          ties are available in your               “What I do is driven by sheer passion
                                                   and deep love for people. I exist to add
                                                                                                 Airport Drivers Association.
                                                                                                     The man who took a break of six
                                                                                                                                               Anglo Tours boss, Fikile indicated his
                                                                                                                                               intention to start a touring service
    immediate space and make the
                                                   value to people and want to find and          months to look for work after matricu-        company. Thus he registered his mini-
    most of them
                                        ”          develop opportunities do that’.
                                                       “Knowing that I have added value in
                                                                                                 lating in 1995, has one sister and two
                                                                                                                                               bus taxi under Anglo Tours and used his
                                                                                                                                               time to build up a strong client base.
                                                   someone’s life gives me a sense of pur-           Fortunate enough, Fikile found a job
      Challenges:                                  poses and affirms why I do what I do. I       as an assistant driver for a trucking         So the journey begins…
      She noted lack of resources, and com-        want to put coloured people on the            company. He worked for the company            Fikile had geared himself to being an
      petition from the big and well-estab-        map and think that this is but one vehi-      for a year, then spent two years as taxi      entrepreneur at an early age. At the age
      lished agencies as major obstacles to        cle of doing so”                              driver between 1998 and 2000.                 of seventeen he got involved with the
      setting up her business. However she                                                           After hearing from a friend about a       South African Association of Youth
      further noted that the competition was       Message for other young                       tour guide course that was offered at         Clubs (SAAYC) which introduced him
      healthy as she was continuously forced       people:                                       Gold Reef City, Fikile enrolled and           to leadership and life skills. He was
      to be creative in the services she pro-      “You are responsible for defining and         trained for six months. However, owing        instrumental in the founding of the
                                                        shaping the destiny of your              to financial constraints he did not com-      Youth Center in Daveyton.
                                                        dreams. I cannot over-emphasise          plete the course.                                 For two years, Fikile volunteered at
                                                        the value and importance of vol-             Forced by circumstances, he went          the Tshepo-Thema Youth Center in
                                                        unteering. Find whatever opportu-        back to the taxi industry for three           Daveyton and was the chairperson of
                                                        nities are available in your immedi-     months and subsequently started look-         the club for two years. Being with
                                                        ate space and make the most of           ing for a job again. In a matter of time      SAAYC afforded him the opportunity
                                                        them. You never know how it              he found employment with Anglo Tours          to attend youth leadership camps,
                                                        might serve you in the long run”         as a tour guide. Fikile worked for Anglo      where young people are trained in var-
                                                                                                 Tours for three years and saved money         ious communication and life skills.
                                                                                                 that he received as tips from tourists            The principles that he learnt at the

                                                         Participants train at the Eyona
                                                         Yona computer training centre

                                                                                                 who were the main clients.
                                                                                                     While working at Anglo Tours, his
                                                                                                 cousin told him of someone who was
                                                                                                                                               youth club proved valuable when he
                                                                                                                                               had to start making a living. He was
                                                                                                                                               able to sell his ideas, but mostly it
6     Celebrating young people                                                                                                                   Celebrating young people            17

       gave him the confidence to communi-          Again, as tour operators, Fikile says
       cate with tourists and others that he        police who chase them away from
       guides. The camps that SAAYC organ-          strategic positions in the airport harass
       ized enabled him to handle diversity
       and be easy with others.
                                                    them. At present the business is under-
                                                    going serious structural challenges.         Ubuntu Afrocentric &
           Fikile has been operating his touring
       business for two years and is going
                                                         “The best business days are
                                                    Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and        Exotic Creations
       from strength to strength. He does dif-      Saturday, and most clients are tourists      Hlengiwe Gumede, 28
       ferent tours even venturing to other         from New York, Sydney, London, and
                                                    Perth,” he said.
                                                         Fikile indicates that customer safety

                                                                                                          lengiwe Gumede of Ubuntu         College. Hlengiwe was born in
                                                    is a key concern and challenge.The high               Afrocentric     and    Exotic    Pietermaritzburg, and lives with her 4
    “      Since he is responsible for
           what he brings in every                  levels of crime in South Africa have a
                                                    negative impact on the touring business
                                                                                                          Creations started her business
                                                                                                 in 2000.This young woman had already
                                                                                                                                           brothers and mother – she is currently
                                                                                                                                           the only one in her family who works
    month, he thrives on serious dis-
                                                    as criminals target their vehicles. He       set her eyes on her business in 1998,     and is supporting them.
    cipline and commitment
                                         ”          says they often follow them out of the
                                                    airport and target their vulnerability.
                                                                                                 after she had completed a dressmaking
                                                                                                 course through the School Leavers
                                                                                                                                               After completing matric, Hlengiwe
                                                                                                                                           was introduced to the School Leavers
                                                         “Sometimes clients are not easily       Opportunity Training (SLOT) pro-          Opportunity Training (SLOT) by a
       provinces – taking tourists not only to      trusting,” he said. There is a stigma that   gramme at the Midlands Community          friend who had recently completed one
       Soweto, Johannesburg and Pretoria, but       goes with one being black and he says
       also to places such as the Pilanesburg,      often he has to negotiate before secur-
       and Kruger National Park.                    ing a client. He has to present his iden-
                                                    tification and all related documentation
       Challenges:                                  to be trusted.
       The tour guide business is not consis-
       tent, as traveling is affected by seasons.   Vision:
       Being tied to people’s travelling patterns   “I want to grow the business and
       the client-base changes from time to         employ my brother.”
       time. Since he operates mainly from the           Fikile knows what it means to sac-
       airport, Fikile and others in the same       rifice time and sleep. By six in morn-
       business are currently in negotiations       ing he has to be in the airport doing
       with the airport management regarding        business. Since he is responsible for
       their operations. The airport personnel      what he brings in every month, he
       want to curb taxi touting and that is hav-   thrives on serious discipline and com-

      driving creation
       ing a negative impact on the business.       mitment.

                                                                                                 Hlengiwe’s designs                        Hlengiwe and friends outside her store
8   Celebrating young people                                                                                                                   Celebrating young people                 19

    of SLOT’s programmes. Upon registra-        Hlengiwe set up a sewing studio, and       product, and the fruits of her strategy      noted, however, that she wanted to
    tion, Hlengiwe enrolled for the SLOT 1      spent the year operating and trading       and industry soon began to show, as          extend her services to male clientele.
    programme. In this programme, partici-      from home. However, she soon realized      people started making the links
    pants are trained in Business Skills,       that she needed bigger premises locat-     between her and her designs. Soon            What makes the business
    Communication           Skills,    Career   ed in a commercial area to grow and        afterwards she started building her          different?
    Guidance and Self-Discovery by quali-       expose her work.                           own clientele – people started referring     “I take personal interest in every client
    fied facilitators. The programme’s main        Not long after that, Hlengiwe           others to her store, and she started         that comes into the shop requiring my
    objective is to assist young people to      received a call from a shop owner who      making wedding gowns, ball gowns and         services. It is also important that I man-
    access economic opportunities –             was interested in using her services,      a varied range of traditional wear.          age my time well and deliver on expec-
    whether they create their own oppor-        and offered her shop space, since she           It has been two years since her busi-   tation. I believe that this is what will not
    tunities, or target existing ones.          was relocating to the Eastern Cape.        ness started and she is still going          only hold my business together but is
        The programme runs for an average       Hlengiwe took up the offer and set up      strong. She cited “inward satisfaction”      what will grow it!”
    of two weeks in which the participants      camp at the store, which she is still      as one of the things that keep her going.
    are imparted with the above skills.         operating from.                            She has also opened up a hiring service      Vision for the future:
    Through the Career Guidance and Self                                                   for her garments. This enables those         “I would like to open up sewing proj-
    Discovery component of the training,        Challenges:                                who cannot afford to have an outfit          ects and a training center. I think that
    participants are assessed on their readi-   The first few months were exciting, but    made to access her garments for a spe-       there is a huge market for this kind of
    ness to start their own business and are    the excitement of owning your own          cific occasion. She says this strategy       work that I am doing and would like to
    helped on the way to becoming confi-        business and space soon withered as        contributed to growing and sustaining        create opportunities for others as
    dent young people. They are equipped        the reality of making profit and paying    her business. She noted that she partic-     well”.
    with the knowledge that will assist         rent took hold.The business was initial-   ularly loved creating garments for              To date, SLOT continues to assist
    them to create a brighter future for        ly slow and Hlengiwe was not making        women, simply because she understood         Hlengiwe with her accounting and any
    themselves.                                 any profit – she was only making enough    their needs and requirements. She            other support she needs.
                                                money to pay the rent. Hlengiwe says,
    So the journey begins…                      “the thing that frustrated me the most
    For Hlengiwe, participating in this pro-    was seeing all my monthly wages go to
    gramme was a defining moment. She           the rent and not enough for groceries
    had been interested in sewing and           or anything else at home.That broke my
    design for quite a while, but had not       heart especially because I knew that my
    known how to go about expressing her        family depended on me”.
    talent and interest.
        Having completed the SLOT 2 pro-        Marketing and Sustaining
    gramme (GIVE DETAILS OF THIS                the business
    ONE!), Hlengiwe enrolled with a fash-       However the situation did begin to
    ion and design school for a year. After     change after a while. She started host-
    that year, she unfortunately could not      ing local fashion shows and targeted

                                                                                                Here is a
     go further as there were no funds          other shows in her area to market her-            taste of
        available to advance her studies. So    self. She focused a great deal of her          Hlengiwe’s
         with the support of her mother,        energy on marketing herself and her                 talent
0   Celebrating young people

    Henry Miller

             hese stories undoubtedly speak      faced by young people in South africa
             for themselves.These young peo-     today.These young people are a
             ple are not only an indication      reminder that youth development pro-
    that there is something right the YDN is     grammes do work and that they do
    doing, but also serve as a motivation to     make a significant impact on the lives of
    other young people as well as ourselves.     young South Africans.
    It is evident that the YDN through its           Let their vision and passion remind
    interventions ai active in addressing        us to continue, “to live at the edge of
    some of the socio economic challenges        the miraculous”

    “DON’T SWEAT IT!” – continued from page 10
    Evidence of success                          supportive to him. He says is still in the
    It is obvious that Muhammed’s energy,        small league and that comes with its
    zeal and passion will take him far.          own dynamics.As part of his immediate
    However the business is still being set up   development plans, Muhammed hopes
    and a great deal still needs to happen.      to subcontract his services, while com-
    There is no doubt that Muhammed is           pleting his degree over the next 2 years.
    blessed with an innate business mind and
    that has been demonstrated in his brief      Vision for the future
    time in the business and academic world.     “I want to better the manufacturing
                                                 industry within South Africa. I believe
    Challenges                                   that by the third year of production my
    Muhammed noted that being young was          product would have entered interna-
    at times an obstacle, as people do not       tional trade, allowing the proudly South
    always take you seriously. He was often      African logo to hold more weight.
    anxious that people might steal his idea,    BOD X will not only be limited to a
    which is why he does not elaborate that      deodorant but a range of cosmetic
    much on his advances. Because he is          products which will follow”.
    religious, he noted that wanting success
    for your business can at times create        Message to other young
    conflict in your heart, and that is some-    people
     thing he wanted to guard against.           “Espirit Descores!” which means reach
         However, he noted that his family       and strive for the best, do not limit
          and friends had been incredibly        yourself.