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					Yout h
Development
Network

         Conference
         Proceedings
                                                                                                                                          TABLE OF CONTENTS




        TABLE OF CONTENTS


Introduction to t he Youth De v elopment N etw or k (YDN) . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
                      outh
Introduction to the Yout Dev             Networork
Background to the Youth Development Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
The Strategic Focus Areas of the Youth Development Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
The Strategic Development Goals of the Youth Development Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2


             Introduction to the      Members Confererence
W elcome and Introduction to t he YDN Member s Conf erence . . . . . . . 3
Background to the YDN Members Conference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Welcome from Conference Convenor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Welcome from the Youth Development Network National Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Welcome from outgoing Chairperson of Board of Trustees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5


Da y One – A Decade of Yout h De v elopment :
Day                        outh
                         Yout Development:
Creating                vironment for Democracy
                     Envir                           Dev
Creating an Enabling En vironment for Democr acy and De v elopment 7
Mokoka Seshabela (South African Association of Youth Clubs) – National Youth Policy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Nhlanhla Mtaka (Institute for Democracy in South Africa):
The Relationship between Local Government and Youth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Plenary Discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Group Discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10


Da y Tw o – Yout h P ar ticipation:
Day Tw       outh articipation:
            Yout Par
De v eloping Spaces and Hear ing t he Voices of Yout h . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Dev                         Hearing the Voices   outh
                                                Yout
Sizwe Shezi (South African Youth Council) – Youth Participation across Sectors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Molefi Mataboge (Southern African Association of Youth Clubs) – Structures of Youth Participation . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Brandon Pillay (Bayview Flat Residents Association, Chatsworth Youth Forum) – Freedom = Responsibility . . . . . . 14
Plenary Discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Group Discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15




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      YOUTH DEVELOPMENT NETWORK - CONFERNCE PROCEEDINGS




Da y Three – Youth Economic Em po w er ment : Yout h Ser vice, Skills
Day Three Yout  outh               pow ment: outh
                                Empo erment Yout Service,
                nerships
           Learner                epreneur
                              Entrepreneurship
Tr aining, Lear ner ships and Entrepreneur ship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Samantha Stern (Youth Development Network) – Youth Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Estelle Crafford (Department of Labour) – Learnerships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Ashley Du Plooy (The Nations Trust) – Youth Enterprise Finance:
challenges of financing start-up enterprise in South Africa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Plenary Discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Group Discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21


        Fr   the Field
Lessons From t he F ield . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 3
Junior Achievement South Africa (JASA) – Entrepreneurship: a philanthropic approach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Resource Action Group (RAG) – Civic Activism Project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Southern African Association of Youth Clubs (SAAYC) – The Breakthrough Programme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
YDN National Office – Introduction to ‘Engendering Youth’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Centre for Education and Enterprise Development (CEED) – Life Skills Manual . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Joint Enrichment Project (JEP) – Lessons from the field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Establishment for Comprehensive Youth Development (ECYD) – Tourism Programme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
School Leavers Opportunity Training (SLOT) – Attributes of a successful entrepreneur . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Reflections on Electives: “As we reflect together, we learn together” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30


YDN Business Session . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 1

Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 2




      2
                                                    INTRODUCTION TO THE YOUTH DEVELPMENT NETWORK




     Introduction to the Youth Development Network (YDN)


Background to the Youth Development Network
The Youth Development Network (YDN) is a national network of seven youth development Non-Governmental
Organisations that operate in the areas of skills training, youth entrepreneurship and community youth development.
These youth development organisations are:

   School Leavers Opportunity Training (SLOT)
   Southern African Association of Youth Clubs (SAAYC)
   Resource Action Group (RAG)
   Establishment for Comprehensive Youth Development (ECYD)
   Joint Enrichment Project (JEP)
   Junior Achievement South Africa (JASA)
   The Centre for Education and Enterprise Development (CEED)



The YDN was instituted in July 1998, and the organisation aims to build capacity and influence the South African youth
sector to deliver quality youth development programmes with demonstrable impact. This entails measuring and increasing
the impact of youth development programmes; sharing information and vest practices with youth development
practitioners; securing resources to support youth development programmes and advocating for the interests of young
people. In addition the YDN and its member organisations subscribe to Integrated Youth Development. This approach
to youth development holistically responds to the full range of young people’s needs within the broader social context.
These ideals form the basis of the mission of the YDN:

                       the Yout Dev
                             outh                        ork
                                                    Networ compr   prising       outh
                                                                               yout dev
                “ W e, t he Yout h De v elopment N e tw or k , com pr ising of y out h de v elopment
                      service providers subscribing to integrated youth development,
                                  aim to build our capacity and influence the
                                            outh
                          South African yout sector to deliver quality             eff ective
                          Sout h Afr ican y out h sector to deliv er q uality and ef f ectiv e
                          youth development programmes with measurable impact.”




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    YOUTH DEVELOPMENT NETWORK - CONFERNCE PROCEEDINGS




The Strategic Focus Areas of the Youth Development Network
The YDN has as two strategic focus areas: capacity building and advocacy and positioning. These two areas reflect the
following strategic rationale:




    Capacity Building
The YDN aims to build the capacity of its member organisations and other individuals and/or organisations that are
collaborated with on programmes, specifically within the area of program management and impact evaluation. This
initiative involves a process to build capacity (i.e. skills and functioning) within a number of organisational and programmatic
areas, including, the functioning of the board, the managerial core, the programme staff and the financial management
capacity.


    Advocacy and Positioning
The YDN aims to become a point of reference for youth development in South Africa. Over time, the YDN will need to
build strategies to engage actors in the youth sector in order to position itself to effectively influence youth initiatives,
programmes and organisations. In order to become a point of reference within the youth sector the profile of the YDN
needs to be aligned to well developed advocacy platforms that are in the best interests of youth development. An
income and fundraising strategy, together with an integrated marketing strategy would ensure that the YDN and the
member organisations are able to synchronise their efforts to achieve financial sustainability, thus ensuring their continued
impact on the youth sector as a whole.


The Strategic Development Goals of the Youth Development Network
In order to advance the mission of the YDN two key strategic development goals have been defined:

   To empower member organisations, the YDN national office and community based organisations (CBO’s) with the
    necessary knowledge and skills to deliver quality and sustainable programmes, and demonstrate impact.
   To ensure that the YDN becomes a credible point of reference for youth development




    4
                                                                                WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION




     Welcome and Introduction
     to the YDN Members Conference
Background to the YDN Members Conference
The Youth Development Network (YDN) hosted its first ever members conference at the Indaba Hotel from 4-7 November
2002. The conference saw, for the first time since its inception in 1998, members of the network come together under
the theme “Learning Together to Positively Impact the Lives of Young People.” The conference was premised on two sub
themes. “Trends in the NGO World” and ‘Youth, Poverty and Unemployment” and provided members with the opportunity
to learn from each other, share important lessons from the field and examine trends facing youth development.

The 2003 members conference was based on the theme ‘Strengthening Youth Development – Strengthening
                                                               engthening Yout Dev
                                                            Strengt           outh                      trengt
                                                                                                       Strengthening
Democracy.’ The YDN subscribes to the concept of integrated youth development, which emphasises that youth
        acy.
Democracy
programmes and policies should address the ranges of needs that young people have. 2004 marks South Africa’s tenth
year of governance under a democratic dispensation. Thus the social and political context in South Africa lent itself to
the exploration of a decade of youth development under democracy. In order to take stock of this era in youth
development the YDN needed to examine some key questions:

   How far has youth development come along since 1994?
   Are there appropriate policies that create an enabling environment for youth development?
   Where is youth development in the national development agenda?
   Have the voices of young people strengthened democracy?

The YDN members conference provided a platform to dialogue these key questions. At the same time the conference
enabled the network to get a clear sense of its own understanding about the issues above in relation to the external
development environment. The conference provided a space for members of the network to learn from each other and
to engage around the theme in a constructive way. Once again, the participant’s knowledge of their partners in the
network was extended, and they left with a better understanding of the focus areas of the other member organisations.

The conference was held over a four-day period comprising specialist input in plenary sessions, sharing of innovative
practices and lessons from the field in workshop sessions and a leadership session for YDN Directors and senior
managers. The content and the dialogue generated at the conference provided a space for the YDN to prioritise its
future areas of intervention and highlighted potential focus areas for advocacy and positioning.




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    YOUTH DEVELOPMENT NETWORK - CONFERNCE PROCEEDINGS




Welcome from Conference Convenor

John Paul – Director, Centre for Education and Enterprise Development (CEED)
John Paul formally welcomed delegates to the conference, and set out the aims for the event. The conference was
planned and developed to take into account four important issues – integrated youth development, diversity, innovation
and promoting opportunities to learn and have fun in the process. The theme for the conference was envisioned as a
link to South Africa’s current social and political context after ten years of democracy and was thus titled ‘Strengthening
Youth Development: Strengthening Democracy’.

The conference was described as providing a space for youth practitioners to share experiences and learning and
allowing the member organisations to share innovative practice and lessons from the field. Ultimately, the purpose of
the conference was to provide a space for dialogue that would be accessible to all participants. John further noted the
important role that the conference had played for CEED staff – planning the conference had been an invaluable
learning experience for them. Apart from it being a learning opportunity it provided an opportunity to work and network
with YDN member organisations, external delegates and the YDN National Office.

The YDN subscribes to the concept of integrated youth development, which emphasises that youth programs and
policies should address the range of needs that young people have. South Africa will be gearing up to celebrate 10 years
of democracy in 2004. Political parties are busy developing their elections manifesto’s containing a range of policy
statements and promises. It is time to take stock of a decade of youth development under a democratic dispensation.
The YDN needs to examine some key questions:

   How far has youth development come since 1994?
   Are there appropriate policies that create an enabling environment for youth development?
   Where is youth development on the national agenda?
   Have the voices of young people strengthened democracy?



Welcome from the Youth Development Network National Director

Clayton Peters – Director, Youth Development Network (YDN)
Clayton described the YDN as an organisation that had brought valuable and much-needed benefits to the youth
development sector. Specifically, these were: capacity building; training; new knowledge and fresh impetus. He further
stated that the YDN had made remarkable strides in advancing youth development and strengthening member
organisations and the sector as a whole. The YDN was described as having to go through various developmental phases
in order to advance in the field of youth development, these were, dialogue, interaction, establishment, consolidation
and facing the future.

Clayton reported that the YDN had seen considerable growth since its inception, and this growth has occurred at a time
when the rest of the NGO sector has been struggling to deal with reduced funding, an exodus of skilled staff, and an
inability to define a strategic direction. Thus, the YDN needed to congratulate itself on a job well done, as its staff size,
the number of young people the programmes have reached and its annual budgets are all growing.

Conference participants were also reminded of the first Members conference (2002), where the 3 – 5 year strategic plan
was presented. Two major focus areas had been identified in the strategic plan: capacity building and advocacy and
positioning. In order to meet the objectives for these strategic areas various activities had been planned and implemented.
These included study visits, internship placements between member organisations, Celebrating Young People,
implementation of the Youth Employment Summit Regional Support Plan (the YDN’s first structured intervention in the




    6
                                                                                 WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION




region), and the publication of The Situation of Young People within the SADC region.

Clayton repeated John’s overview of the social and political context for the conference. He expressed that the conference
needed to provide an honest reflection of the past decade of youth development under a democratic dispensation,
asking the questions: What have we achieved? Where are the gaps? Are the policies appropriate? What is the YDN’s role
in strengthening youth development and democracy?


Welcome from outgoing Chairperson of Board of Trustees

Mokoka Seshabela – Director, Southern African Association of Youth Clubs
The theme for Mokoka’s welcome was “Together we have travelled”. Specifically, he raised the issues and challenges for
the YDN after being in existence for four years. These included:

   The need to live by the principles of the YDN
   That the YDN has a right to exist in the sector – we are not surrogates, and we do not need approval and
    endorsement, but rather partners.
   That the YDN needs to engage with theories of funding and partnerships (and to find partners who are interested
    in funding the YDN’s strategic focus areas, as opposed to taking on work indiscriminately for money)
   The need to develop our own sustainable philosophy of youth development
   The need to ‘walk the talk’ as relates to our products
   The need to challenge flawed capitalist theories of development and focus more on human development
   The need to locate the YDN within the agendas of NEPAD and the African Renaissance
   The need to remember that as a collective the YDN is a force to be reckoned with and one that has won credibility.

Delegates were reminded of some relevant statistics from the YDN. The YDN as a network has a collective 168 years of
working with young people, employs 181 staff members, impacts directly/indirectly with approximately 54 000 youth,
youth leaders and youth workers, and has a family budget of 43.1 million rands.




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    YOUTH DEVELOPMENT NETWORK - CONFERNCE PROCEEDINGS




        Day One – A Decade of Youth Development:
        Creating an Enabling Environment for Democracy
        and Development
Plenary Speakers
Mokoka Seshabela (South African Association of Youth Clubs)
Nhlanhla Mtaka (Institute for Democracy in South Africa)




Mokoka Seshabela (South African Association of Youth Clubs) – National Youth Policy
Mokoka is the Director of the Southern African Association of Youth Clubs; in addition he is the outgoing Chairperson
of the YDN Board of Trustees

The presentation addressed the issue of National Youth Policy, more specifically the creation of a National Youth Policy
that is inclusive, practical, and able to be implemented. An important point was that the Government and its structures
would have to commit to implementing a National Youth Policy, along with other role players in the sector. Mokoka
began with an examination of the meaning of the term youth worker and youth development and provided a theoretical
backdrop for these.

Young people should be seen as a unique target group, as full citizens of the country, who deserve the same attention
that every other sector of the community receives – and youth development must happen within the broader framework
of development in South Africa. Specifically, “a Youth Development Programme is designed to meet the human
development needs of youth and to build a set of core assets and competencies needed to participate successfully in
adolescence and adult life”. Those best positioned to push the agenda of youth development are youth workers – they
work directly with young people, but also with other actors and institutions to positively impact the environment in
which the programmes occur and in which young people are living.

The acknowledgement of the need for a National Youth Policy is both an acknowledgement of the fact that young
women and men have specific needs and recognition of their unique contribution to national development. It provides
a chance for society as a whole to “declare, document and intensify” their commitment to their young people – and an
opportunity to express the nation’s understanding of the values, rights and responsibilities which relate to their young
women and men.

The eventual status of any National Youth Policy in South Africa will depend on the ability of the policy to be:

   A vision for youth development.
   An opportunity for young women and men to shape their own futures, assume responsibility and play an active
   role in the lives of their country and community.
   A statement of values and principles.



    8
                                                                 DAY ONE - A DECADE OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT




   A gender-sensitive and holistic response to the needs and aspirations of young women and men.
   A vehicle based on the idealism, commitment, energy and creativity of young women and men.
   An instrument to raise the profile of young people within the government and the wider community.
   A statement of the relationship between young people and national goals.
   A framework for future action.
   A catalyst for communication, cooperation and coordination between government and non-government agencies
   concerned with youth development.
   A document of relevance for all concerned about and involved with young people.
   A benchmark to review youth policy and programme relevance and achievement.

Finally, we must realise that a national youth policy is not necessarily about spending more money – rather, it is about
trying to ensure that all services and programmes impacting on young people operate appropriately, effectively, efficiently
and equitably. A National Youth Policy represents a nationally agreed formula for meeting the needs, potential and
aspirations of young people – and this is something for which South Africa is still waiting.


Nhlanhla Mtaka (Institute for Democracy in South Africa) – The Relationship between Local
Government and Youth
Nhlanhla is the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Co-ordinator for IDASA’s Community and Citizen Empowerment Programme.

The relationship between society and youth is extremely complex and cannot be expressed in simple terms. Nevertheless,
it has been possible to describe a clear leitmotif in this relationship: the tension between, on the one had, the belief in
the strength, innovative changes and improvements of and by the youth and on the other hand, the fear of change and
an increasing loss of norms. This paradox has probably applied in every age and every culture.

Nhlanhla’s presentation focussed on the role of local government in assisting young people to become involved in
policy formulation. The role of young people in the struggle for a democratic South Africa was a substantial one, and one
that has been recorded in our history. The question being asked more and more often, as we approach the 10th
anniversary of a democratic South Africa, is “what has happened to that youth involvement and activism?” Within the
context of a need for a sustainable democracy, the idea that young people are not interested in participating in the
democratic system is a scary one – for a democracy to survive, the next generation needs to be committed to its
preservation.

While there is a theoretical framework in the form of the National Youth Development Policy Framework 2002 – 2007 that
can be used to establish national goals and central objectives for youth participation, this does not guarantee performance.
The failure of young people to participate in active citizenship can be attributed to a number of factors, including:

   The absence of a model / framework for youth participation at a local level
   The sector’s failure to organise itself outside racial, geographic, religious and political lines
   Failure to recognise the diversity of young people
   Mounting HIV/AIDS deaths and an increase in illness will decrease the potential number of people who could be
   involved in public life.

The task facing both the government and the youth sector is to find new ways of empowering young people – in addition
there is a need to institutionalise the issues of youth development in South Africa. The challenge is to create a system
where every young person feels that it is incumbent upon him or her to participate in the process of policy formulation.



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    YOUTH DEVELOPMENT NETWORK - CONFERNCE PROCEEDINGS




The ideal sphere of government to implement this involvement is local government. Legislatively, the environment for
this to happen has already been created. The following documents constitute the framework within which the process
can occur:

   SA Constitution Act 1996 – Chapter 7, section 152 (e)
   White Paper on Local Government 1998
   Municipal Structures Act 1998, section 19(2)
   Municipal Systems Act 2000, Chapter 3
   The National Youth Policy 2000

Additionally, IDASA feel that there is a crucial role for the National Youth Commission and the South African Youth Council
to play in establishing opportunities for young people to become involved in policy making. In addition civil society must
play a role – in building institutional support for youth organisations and municipalities around the establishment of
local youth councils; in promoting the economic empowerment of young people; and in capacitating youth leadership
in democracy and governance.

Like the greater society and population there is (among youth) telling inequality with regard to race, gender, location
(urban versus non-urban), and available life chances. Given the variety and plethora of youth issues coupled with the
scarcity of resources, it is our submission that in developing any intervention we should identify critical priorities and
phases for intervention, which should take into cognisance the following factors:

   Unification of youth
   Inequalities facing youth
   Cost effectiveness
   Interlocking aspects of these priorities.


Plenary Discussion
Two main themes emerged from the plenary discussion. The first centred on the YDN’s relationship with other youth
structures such as the National Youth Commission and the National Youth Council. While it was acknowledged that
partnerships with such organisations are crucial if the YDN is to play a leading role in the development of youth policy in
South Africa, there were concerns raised regarding managing these partnerships. Additionally, there was discussion on
the current National Youth Policy, and whether it was (a) reflective of the realities facing young people in South Africa
and (b) if it was a realistic document with any hope of implementation.

The second theme related to whether or not young people are really as politically apathetic as they are made out to be.
Many of the participants agreed that it was important for young people to be involved with actual policy making, instead
of just participating once policy and direction had been decided.


Group Discussion
The purpose of the group discussion was to allow the conference delegates to engage with some of the issues arising
from the plenary discussion theme and the presentations. These discussions were directed by questions that the
conference organisers had developed around each conference sub-theme. A participant in the group facilitated group
discussions.




    10
                                                                DAY ONE - A DECADE OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT




Questions:
1. What would an enabling environment for youth development look like?
2. What are the advocacy priorities that the YDN must pursue to advance democracy and development amongst
   youth?
3. Of these things, what are the implications to the current and future activities / programmes of the YDN?

Question 1:           What would an enabling environment for Youth development look like?
In all three groups, the most important point that emerged from the discussions was that the YDN already has a
framework for creating an enabling environment. This framework is represented by the principles of Integrated Youth
Development – any environment wanting to be an enabling one for young people must subscribe to these principles.
This environment must be one in which young people are aware of their rights and responsibilities, and one in which
their desire to be involved at all levels of the development process – and to be in charge of the development process –
is acknowledged and facilitated. Emphasis was also placed on the fact that an enabling environment would be one
where there are supportive and functional partnerships with key role players. Tied in to this is that community development
would need to be linked to youth development and the resources of communities should be identified, mobilised and
utilised. Finally, an enabling environment would be one where all available information is shared and all relevant policies
and structures are not only understood but accessible as well.


Question 2:           What are the advocacy priorities that the YDN must pursue to advance democracy and
                      development amongst youth?
Once again the IYD principles came through strongly, and it was noted that the YDN needed to advocate for them as the
most effective way to work with young people. The need was also identified for youth issues to be placed high on the
national political agenda. This tied into the need for the YDN to make decisions around its involvement with key role
players such as the National Youth Commission, the South African Youth Council and the Office of the President. The key
issue for advocacy was identified as being that of youth unemployment. Within this issue, it was emphasised that the YDN
needed to become part of the National Youth Service Programme, to make sure that its outcomes benefited young
people. It also needs to push for young people to be given preference in job vacancies; to campaign for learnerships/
internships to be made available to give experience to qualified young people; and to ensure that volunteer programmes
do not exploit the young people involved in them. There was also an emphasis on the fact that the YDN needs to centre
its entire advocacy program on young people, and specifically on creating a positive image of young people.


Question 3:           Of these things, what are the implications to the current and future activities / programmes
                      of the YDN?
A major emphasis during this discussion was on the need for the YDN to become a credible reference point across
sectors when it comes to youth issues. Specifically, the Network needs to revive strategic partnerships as well as
strengthen its research focus areas and the dissemination of those results among a range of stakeholders – government,
young people and the youth sector as a whole. A need was also identified for the building of capacity within the YDN so
that the Network can get involved in policy debates. A crucial part of this needed capacity was knowledge about local
government issues, and the role that local government can play in youth development. Finally, and perhaps crucially, it
was emphasised that the YDN needs to look at issues of funding. Specifically, it needs to look at different approaches to
funding and sustainability, with reference to the time when the YDN has to sustain itself without foreign funders.




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    YOUTH DEVELOPMENT NETWORK - CONFERNCE PROCEEDINGS




      Day Two – Youth Participation:
      Developing Spaces and Hearing the Voices of Youth
Plenary Speakers
Sizwe Shezi (South African Youth Council)
Molefi Mataboge (Southern African Association of Youth Clubs)
Brandon Pillay (Bayview Flat Residents Association, Chatsworth Youth Forum)



Sizwe Shezi (South African Youth Council) – Youth Participation across Sectors
Sizwe Shezi is the President of the South African Youth Council

Sizwe’s presentation focussed on youth participation, and the concern among many members of society that young
people are no longer actively participating in the affairs of their community or their country. He further emphasised that
as we approach the celebration of ten years of democracy, it is important to assess the impact of those ten years on youth
development. The question was thus raised as to who would bear the responsibility of compiling that review.

He expressed the opinion that young people have not realised their potential in terms of activism and civic involvement
in South Africa today. We are seeing a range of social movements, all of which show evidence of being driven by the
minds of young people – this shows that young people have a high level of civic / community consciousness, but the
problem comes in when we try to expand that platform to get young people involved in other areas.

It is important, when trying to get young people involved, that we remember the main issues that affect their lives:
unemployment and HIV/AIDS. With such issues confronting them on a daily basis, it is unlikely that young people will be
prepared to put their energies into social movements that do not address their concerns. The key resource for involving
young people in a wider spectrum of issues is local government. They are best suited to ensuring that young people have
both the capacity and the opportunity to get involved.

Finally, it is important to note that, while we need to mobilise all sectors of youth, the best way of ensuring youth
participation in the future is to start as early as possible. In schools, at primary level, we need to ensure that young people
are aware of social, political and environmental issues and involved in their communities, and that they see the point of
participating in the democratic process.




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                                                                               DAY TWO - YOUTH PARTICIPATION




Molefi Mataboge (Southern African Association of Youth Clubs) – Structures of Youth Participation
Molefi Mataboge is SAAYC’s Centres Manager

The main point of Molefi’s presentation was the idea that young people should have the power to make and implement
decisions along with having a shared responsibility for the outcomes. Specifically, he felt that youth participation should
involve some level of

   Democracy / decision making
   Experiential learning
   Meaningful relationships with adults
   Responsibility

He further identified several forms of youth participation:

   Active participation
   Worker – volunteer or paid employee
   Learner – apprentice or intern learning by doing
   Organisational leader – advisor, planner, organiser, decision maker, board member.

Molefi shared with the participants his “commandments for youth participation”. These are:

   Always start with the gifts, talents, knowledge and skills of young people – never with their needs and problems.
   Always lift up the unique individuals – never the ‘category’ to which the young person belongs
   Share the conviction that:
   – Every community is filled with useful opportunities for young people to contribute to the community
   – There is no community institution or association that cannot find a useful role for young people.

Emphasis was placed on the need to move beyond the idea of ‘token’ young people – where a single young person is
included on the board of an NGO, or where an organisation sets up a ‘youth advisory board’ – and where these young
people are not involved in decision-making and are only present for cosmetic reasons. We need to cultivate the many
opportunities available for young people to teach and lead, and reward and celebrate every creative effort, every
contribution made by young people.

Finally, Molefi looked at what youth work is not:

   Only focussed on desirable outcomes
   Trying to shape young people into marketable products
   Trying to adjust environments.

Rather he described youth work as:

   Concentrating on developing participatory processes
   Allowing young people to determine results and interventions
   Facilitating the changing of an environment.




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Brandon Pillay (Bayview Flat Residents Association, Chatsworth Youth Forum) – Freedom =
Responsibility
Brandon Pillay is a senior member of the Bayview Flat Residents Association, and the head of the Chatsworth Youth
Forum.

                                                    freedom responsibility”.
Brandon focussed his presentation on the idea that “freedom = responsibility He envisions youth development as
being about access to resources (social and economic) and building change for the better. He also defined YOUTH as
“Young Ones United To Help”.
 Y

Brandon spoke about his experiences of becoming a youth activist in his community. Living in one of Durban’s poorest
residential areas exposed him to a variety of problems faced by his community, and resulted in his taking a leadership
position with the Bayview Flat Residents Association at a young age.

One of the biggest problems faced by young people who want to become involved with activism in their communities
or the country at large is the fact that many adults think it is their role to decide what young people need. In particular,
politicians tend to dictate the role of young people in society and civic activism – and this is directly contrary to what the
young people want.

Emphasis was also placed on the fact that no matter where young people go, they will always be part of a community –
and they must contribute not only to their own community, but to other communities as well. They need to become
involved in community struggles, social movements, advocacy and lobbying. They need to understand the process of
change, and, ultimately, young people must accept and believe in one another.


Plenary Discussion
Two issues emerged from the presentations to plenary: firstly, that of young people voting and secondly, the rollout of
antiretrovirals.

   The concern about young people’s voting habits is a vital one, and it is wrong to assume that young people do not
    vote because they are lazy / apathetic / do not care about voting. Rather, there is every chance that the reason
    young people do not vote has to do with the fact that they do not see politicians addressing issues that are of
    relevance and concern to young people.
   There was a response that while this might be the case, we cannot expect a high turnout of young people in
    National elections (or even University SRC elections) if young people are not educated at a very young age
    (primary school) about their civic rights and responsibilities.
   A concern was expressed around the issue of government slowness in the roll-out of anti-retrovirals – and a
   question was asked as to what role the SAYC can play / is playing in speeding up the roll-out. The response
   focused on the fact that prevention and awareness are crucial components of the fight against HIV / AIDS, and
   these are happening across the country, across sectors and communities.


Group Discussion
The purpose of the group discussion was to allow the conference delegates to engage around some of the issues
arising from the plenary discussion and the presentations. These discussions were directed by questions that the
conference organisers had developed around each conference sub-theme. A participant in the group facilitated group
discussions.




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                                                                               DAY TWO - YOUTH PARTICIPATION




Questions:
1. What are the new forms of youth participation that are emerging in South Africa?
2. What are the power issues emerging between youth development workers / practitioners and young people?
3. What changes must take place for young people to participate meaningfully in the YDN?


Question One:         What are the new forms of youth participation that are emerging in South Africa?
One of the primary issues emerging from discussion was the question of what we mean when we talk about participation.
It was acknowledged that there are many forms of participation beyond the institutionalised ones of voting and
volunteering, and it is important that youth workers know what they define ‘effective’ participation as being. The reason
behind participation was also raised (to what end does participation happen?). One issue raised related to the apparent
lack of young people’s participation, with a question around whether young people are actually getting involved or not.
At the same time, it was acknowledged that there are any numbers of new forms of activism, but that young people
often find their access to those new forms blocked. In addition, young people are often very involved in specific local
issues – their lack of turnout at the polling stations does not mean that young people do not participate.


Question Two:         What are the power issues emerging between youth development workers / practitioners
                      and young people?
The major focus of this discussion was the idea that youth workers have a need to hold onto knowledge and power. They
are often selective in the type of information or empowerment that they pass on to young people, as they want to stay
in their jobs. This is often unconscious, but it limits where the young people themselves can go. It was acknowledged
that, while youth workers have to trust young people to know where they want to go, they are still concerned that this
would be an abdication of responsibility. Finally, the point was made that much of the fear of risk taking among youth
workers comes from the fact that they work with such scarce resources. Not only would failure reflect negatively on the
youth workers themselves, it would also have a negative effect on the sources of funding crucial to their work.


Question Three:       What changes must take place for young people to participate meaningfully in the YDN?
The crucial aspect of this discussion was that young people have to be more fully involved in the YDN for it to fulfil its
mission. Specifically, the YDN needs to take young people on as partners in all areas – on boards, in planning sessions
and in programme design. Young people’s voices need to be heard more directly – the YDN needs to engage with them
and ask for their opinions and perspectives. One way in which this could happen would be in the hosting of a forum
specifically for young people, giving them a chance to speak directly about the issues that affect them. Ultimately, the
YDN needs to ensure that its programmes represent the needs and desires of young people – and the only way for that
to happen is to include them at every point in the process.




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     Day Three – Youth Economic Empowerment:
     Youth Service, Skills Training, Learnerships
     and Entrepreneurship
Plenary Speakers
Samantha Stern (YDN)
Estelle Crafford (Department of Labour)
Ashley Du Plooy (The Nations Trust)



Samantha Stern (Youth Development Network) – Youth Service
Samantha Stern is the YDN National Office’s Co-ordinator for the Capacity Building Unit.

Samantha provided an overview of the Youth Service concept in South Africa, and highlighted issues relevant for the
YDN.

The background to Youth Service can be found in the following:

   The Green Paper on Youth Service (1999)
   The Draft White Paper on Youth Service (1999 – 2000)
   The National Youth Service Pilot Programme (Y4EA) (2000 – 2001)
   Umsobomvu Youth Fund’s funded Youth Service Programmes (2002 – 2003)
   Cabinet’s approval of the “broad approach and architecture of National Youth Service” (March 2003)

There are several objectives of National Youth Service in South Africa. National Youth Service is aimed at involving young
people in the delivery of crucial government services in a way that enables them to acquire skills that can be applied in
the accessing of economic opportunities at the end of the programme. In the process of the above, National Youth
Service is also aimed at supporting nation building and integrating young people into all aspects of social and community
life. In the context of skills training and employment, there will be an emphasis on technical skills training through the
Service and Individual Learning components. There will also be accredited training provided in relation to the accessing
of economic opportunities on completion of the programmes.

The National Youth Service Unit will be located in the Office of the President, in the Policy Co-ordinating and Advisory
Service, and will be accountable to a partnership project team. This will be convened by the Minister in the Office of the
President, and will consist of representatives from government departments, the National Youth Commission, the South
African Youth Council and the Umsobomvu Youth Fund. The NYS Unit will be responsible for registering programmes, and
providing support in areas of advocacy, marketing, fundraising and monitoring & evaluation.




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                                                                DAY THREE - YOUTH ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT




No new money will be allocated for Youth Service programmes. Rather, they will be aligned to existing departmental
budgets and programmes. These government departments (lead agents) will be responsible for agreeing on programmes,
managing the programmes, appointing delivery agents and paying the stipend to programme participants.

The opportunities for Youth Development NGOs come in the following areas. They can operate as delivery agents (on
their own or as part of a team), they can provide capacity to agents (as Technical Advisors and Programme & Institutional
Assessors), they can strengthen partnerships with government departments and other stakeholders and can bring
young people closer to government through their participation.

Relevant issues for the YDN include:

   The YDN’s role in providing input to the roll-out process – ensuring the quality of programmes
   The YDN’s ability and readiness to engage with the political nature of the Youth Service debate, and it’s approach
    to partnerships with the National Youth Commission, South African Youth Council and the Umsobomvu Youth Fund.
   Engagement with SAQA Accreditation as service providers
   Balancing priorities of community development and economic skills development of young people
   The capacity of the YDN to fulfil the roles we can play – as implementers and capacity builders



Estelle Crafford (Department of Labour) – Learnerships
Estelle Crafford is a registered Counselling Psychologist working at the Department of Labour.

Estelle’s presented an overview of learnerships, with a focus on lessons learned, and the positioning of NGOs. The aim of
the learnership campaign is to assist new entrants into employment. Specifically, this is aimed at having 80 000 young
people (under the age of thirty) in learnerships by March 2005, and 50% of these, within six months, in jobs, self-employment
or further study. In the Department of Labour, there are six task teams in the learnership campaign. These are:

   Learnership Implementation
   ESDA’s
   Marketing
   Funding
   Exit Strategy
   Employment Services

Lessons learned thus far in the learnership process include the need for a continued focus on implementation; a need
for ongoing monitoring and evaluation with regard to placement, the impact of learners on the economy and
implementation in sectors; the need for existing employment services to be increased; and the need for a strong
emphasis on exit strategies.

In terms of the positioning of NGOs, there are several roles that can be played by the sector. NGOs can take in learners
themselves; they can advocate for lifeskills training to happen in the learnerships, with the aim of ensuring the holistic
development of participants; they can form partnerships with Labour Centres for Recruitment and Selection and can
stream learners to skills programmes.




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Ashley Du Plooy (The Nations Trust) – Youth Enterprise Finance: challenges of financing start-up
enterprise in South Africa
Ashley Du Plooy heads up The Nations Trust.

Ashley’s presentation provided an overview of The Nations Trust (TNT) history, activities and products, as well as answers
to frequently asked questions about TNT. TNT was formed in 1995 as a youth economic empowerment trust, and since
then has supported over 1000 youth business start-ups with finance and monitoring. Over 60% of these are still operating,
with around 1500 jobs being created. TNT have learned many lessons from the eight years they have been in operation,
and have links to youth business trusts around the world – they also have a good feel for the challenges of financing
unemployed young people in start-up businesses.

Challenges that TNT have identified as being specific to unemployed youth include: a lack of skills and experience;
access to finance; good start-up support; lack of information about SMME development services; poor access to markets;
and incubation (administration, accounts; marketing, good space).

The approval process for an applicant to TNT is as follows:

   TNT records the enquiry, and refers the applicant to other agencies, or provides application forms and the pro-
    forma TNT business plan
   TNT carries out a Business Investigation (20 point checklist including identity, references, location, market,
    financial and a credit check)
   A selection panel interview
   Induction (sign agreements, rules of the relationship, loan management process, mentoring – are all explained)
   Loan disbursement (to supplier) – up to 10% can be used as working capital – stock and materials excluded
   Verification of business start-up and monitoring and support from loan officer and mentor
   Monthly business development seminar

TNT’s finance products are:

   Small: R1500 – R5000; with a loan period of 3 – 12 months, at 45% p.a. interest
   Medium: R5001 – 10 000; loan period of 6 – 18 months, and 35% p.a. interest
   Large: R10 001 – R40 000; loan period of 12 – 24 months, and prime +8% p.a. interest; 10% own contribution
   Contracts: up to R40 000; loan period 1 – 90 days, interest is 5% per month to prime +8% p.a.


Questions that TNT frequently encounters include:

Why does TNT charge interest?

   TNT has to borrow money to lend to start-up businesses among unemployed youth
   High default rates (75%) threaten our ability to repay. Interest and other fees like service and administration covers
   us against this risk
   Technically interest is meant to be accumulated with a view to helping the organisation become self-sustainable,
    but donors often scale down their contributions in line with growing income
   TNT has the lowest effective interest rates among RFIs / MFIs




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                                                                DAY THREE - YOUTH ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT




Why are loan repayment periods not more accommodating to the nature of the business venture?

   Longer repayment terms allow for more risk to creep into the equation and makes recovery more difficult.
   TNT’s loans must coincide with the repayment terms of its financiers
   We have to be seen to be serious about money if donors are going to risk their capital with us.

Why must youth enterprise creation be dependent on loan finance? Why not grants?

   Free money is the surest way of encouraging waste, both with the entrepreneur and in terms of the productivity
    and effectiveness of the grant-making / welfare organisation
   There is validity for grants for large-scale employment creation enterprises

Why does TNT insist on mentoring support?

   Our experience shows that most youth are more in need of good business advice and support than they are in
   need of money

Can RFIs / MFIs be self-sustainable?

   Only over a long period of time (5-10 years), provided they employ minimalist loan processing methodologies in
   low risk sectors
   According to CGAP the Micro Banking Bulletin statistics reflect that only 1% of MFIs are sustainable
   Good practice (financial discipline) cannot be thrown overboard on this fact


Plenary Discussion
The issues around which most of the questions and comments in the plenary session were focussed were the Learnership
Programme, and The Nations Trust presentation.

With reference to the Learnership Programme presentation, questions focussed around details of the number of young
people involved in the programme and the provinces in which it is operational. Issues of access, especially for rural
youth were raised as well as a discussion on whether the amount of money spent on each participant would be better
used by putting them through tertiary education.

The questions on The Nations Trust presentation focussed on the selection criteria used by The Nations Trust to identify
the projects that it will fund – both in terms of age groups and in terms of the specific criteria used. In addition there was
discussion on the provincial scope of TNT, which currently operates only in Gauteng and the Western Cape. An important
issue raised was that of the prohibitively high interest rates levied by the Micro-lending industry, which often mean that
the young people who need the loans most cannot afford to access them. The comment from The Nations Trust was that
the high interest rates are not just the only way a micro-financing programme can be seen as being serious, but that they
are also the only way to ensure that TNT can repay its donors.


Group Discussion
The purpose of the group discussion was to allow the conference delegates to engage around some of the issues
arising from the plenary discussion and the presentations. These discussions were directed by questions that the
conference organisers had developed around each conference sub-theme. One participant facilitated the group
discussion.




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Questions:
1. What are the emerging gaps that prevent youth development service providers from assisting young people to
   access existing and new economic opportunities?
2. What should the YDN be doing to help young people access economic opportunities?
3. How should the YDN relate to the roll out of Youth Service?


Question One:         What are the emerging gaps that prevent youth development service providers from
                      assisting young people to access existing and new economic opportunities?
The biggest gap that was identified was that of the lack of capacity in the sector. There is a lack of knowledge about
opportunities available to young people and the criteria for accessing those opportunities. There is also a lack of
networking, communication and collaboration within the sector – which results in the lack of capacity to access
opportunities to benefit young people. These problems can be summarised as representing the lack of capacity within
the youth sector to analyse the external environment. A further gap that was identified was the continuing negative
perceptions of young people held by many in society – there is no real understanding of who young people are, or of the
fact that they have gifts and talents as well as needs. Finally, the fact that young people are unable to offer collateral for
loans means that they are usually excluded from any legitimate form of financing.


Question Two:         What should the YDN be doing to help young people access economic opportunities?
The answers to this question were varied, but all indicated the same need for partnerships across society. An identified
need was the inception of a collaboration between the YDN and local structures to ensure that young people are able
to access existing opportunities. Information on those economic opportunities must be gathered and analysed, and
then made available to the young people who need it. Additionally, the YDN needs to engage the Department of Labour
on possibilities for partnership, and must also ensure that it positions itself so that it can influence the sector and act as
a reference point for stakeholders.


Question Three:       How should the YDN relate to the roll out of Youth Service?
A central response here was the need for the YDN to address the quality of programmes being offered. This would
include developing programs in collaboration with young people – ensuring that the programmes do not perpetuate
the marginalisation of young people. There was also the need to obtain clarity on expected measurable outcomes for
projects (i.e. exit options). Issues that re-emerged included the YDN forming partnerships with key stakeholders, locating
the YDN strategically within the sector and creating awareness about the rollout of the programmes.




    20
                                                                                         LESSONS FROM THE FIELD




      Lessons From the Field
Each member organisation presented an aspect of their work that is going well, that they are proud of, or that they have
learned something from. The aim was to share best practice among the member organisation, but also to ensure that
participants were aware of what other organisations were doing.


Junior Achievement South Africa (JASA) – Entrepreneurship: a philanthropic approach
The JASA presentation focussed on their role as an organisation “offering experiential business and life skills programmes
and business development services to young people”.

JASA runs several programmes. These are:

   The Enterprise Dynamics Programme: a school-based programme for learners from Grade 1 – 12, where
    participants develop an understanding of the economy and business via games, simulations, projects and role-
    play.
   The Mini Enterprise Programme: an intensive learning experience for small groups of young people in grades 10 –
    12. The participants set up a mini manufacturing company, which gives them the opportunity to acquire and
    practice business skills.
   The Business Establishment and Sustainability Programme: provides intensive business skills, business support
    services, after-care and access to credit to enable participants to establish businesses.
   The Banks in Action Programme: participants set up their own ‘bank’, which fosters understanding about
    borrowing and lending money as well as the principles of risk assessment and its importance.
   The Junior Achievement Business Plan Competition: involves university students at Wits and UCT who are taught to
    write clear, concise business plans that will grab the attention of potential investors.

One of the points made was that young people often have misconceived ideas about being entrepreneurs. It does not
necessarily mean being financially independent and having more spending money, nor does it mean that there be more
time to spend with friends and family, or in religious, sporting or cultural activities. It was highlighted that being an
entrepreneur is hard work. The presentation also addressed the reasons for the failure of young people as entrepreneurs.
These reasons include a lack of skills, a lack of money and a lack of realistic business planning – all of which JASA tries to
address in their programmes.

In conclusion, the presentation looked at some of the challenges faced by organisations working to develop
entrepreneurship amongst young people. Some of these challenges are specific to the staff on the programmes – do
they really understand the needs of entrepreneurs, and do they have the skills and experience to meet these needs.
There are also concerns about meeting the demands of donors while meeting the needs of participants, and tied to that,
how the transition can be made to seeing donors as partners. One final challenge was the question of whether it was
possible to be in the development sector but be profit driven – given concerns about sustainability.




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    YOUTH DEVELOPMENT NETWORK - CONFERNCE PROCEEDINGS




Resource Action Group (RAG) – Civic Activism Project
RAG’s presentation provided details of their civic activism project. A YDN pilot project, this was an HIV/AIDS campaign
conducted with the Treatment Action Campaign. A definition of Civic Activism, as understood by RAG was discussed.

Activism is the active engagement of young people in social issues concerning themselves and society. This active
engagement means that young people have to have the right information and knowledge about the issue at hand. To
be part of a successful programme, young people must also have the requisite skills to implement the necessary
strategies. Activism requires participants to operate from a specific value base. Activism is not about individual gain – it
is about encouraging change that is in the interests of a specific group.

The presentation suggested that the failure of the South African government to effectively ‘level the playing fields’ in
post-apartheid South Africa has given rise to ‘the spontaneous mushrooming of social movements to defend, if nothing
else, their human dignity’.

An important aspect of the presentation was the focus on the involvement of young people in civic activism. Activism is
by its nature linked to the IYD model – RAG’s Civic Activism programme met all the principles of IYD. In addition there was
also discussion on the idea of activism as a youth development intervention strategy. The reasoning behind RAG’s
thinking is that ‘activism is one mans means of challenging the existing government at micro- and macro-policy level to
serve the interests of the majority who voted them into power’. Ultimately, if policies that bring no benefits to the
majority of South African’s are not challenged, it is young people who will bear the brunt of the results.


Southern African Association of Youth Clubs (SAAYC) – The Breakthrough Programme
SAAYC examined their Breakthrough Programme in depth, with the intention of showing how the principles of Integrated
Youth Development (IYD) are applied to each component. In addition they addressed some of the challenges that had
been identified, and shared the learnings which emerged from the programme. The goal of the Breakthrough Programme
is to operate a comprehensive programme that uses the IYD approach to give young people an opportunity to take charge
of their lives.

The programme has five components

   Computer Literacy
   Life Skills
   Community Service and Voluntarism
   Sports and Recreation
   Leadership Development

The learnings that had been gained form the programme were mainly related to meeting the needs of the young people
participating in the programme. Specifically, there was an acknowledgement of the need to assess participants before,
during and after the programme. That in turn tied into an understanding that it is important to recognise the fears of
participants and that the programme must be flexible, so that participants can influence it. There is also a need for an
environment to be created that allows the interaction and sharing of experiences that contribute to effective learning.

Challenges that were identified included:

   Tracking participants as they move on to other areas
   Identifying employment opportunities for participants after their involvement with the programme




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                                                                                         LESSONS FROM THE FIELD




   Ongoing assessment to evaluate the relevance of the programme activities. Equally, the assessment of the
   content of activities remains a challenge.
   Linking of activities to create a progressive process – as the programme is a new one, SAAYC has not yet managed
    to link all activities / components in the programme to one another.
   Training of facilitators – as volunteers are the main source of trainers, a lot of time and resources are spent on
    continuous training of a changing group of volunteers.

The objective of the Breakthrough Programme is to help young people work out what they want to do with their lives,
and help them take responsibility for the decisions they make. The lack of a reliable tracking tool means that it is difficult
for SAAYC to measure the impact of their programme – but they estimate that around 15% of previous participants are
employed. However, it was noted that ‘development’ is not just about economic development.


YDN National Office – Introduction to ‘Engendering Youth’
The YDN presentation focussed on an interactive introduction to the YDN’s gender tool Engendering Youth –
Mainstreaming a Gender Perspective in the Youth Sector. The presentation looked at the aims of the manual, the
understanding of gender mainstreaming, and located gender workshops within the broader context of anti-bias.
Specifically, the manual ‘provides information to help youth practitioners understand gender and gender relations, and
practical examples on how to improve their workshop sessions so that they are most relevant to both young women and
young men.’

The basic aim of the Gender manual is to help youth workers begin the journey towards understanding, engaging and
dealing with their own biases – in order that they will be able to work more effectively with young people. Ultimately,
unless there is belief that young women and young men deserve to be valued equally, and deserve to have equal access
to opportunities and resources, an individual will not be able to mainstream gender in the design or implementation of
their programmes.

Several important learnings emerged from the YDN presentation. One of these was that the best way of facilitating
learning when dealing with a subject such as gender mainstreaming – where the focus is not so much on skills and
knowledge but attitudes and values – is to dialogue on issues, rather than present participants with a set of tools.
Another learning was the acknowledgement that issues of attitudes and values are connected to issues of power. Youth
workers, need to acknowledge their own attitudes and values, since these are not communicated to the young people
with whom they work. The question rose as to whether it is the job of the youth worker to impose her / his attitudes and
values on young people, or to make the room for them to develop their own.

Within the context of the IYD principle that states that ‘young women and young men have similar and different needs.’
No youth programme can say it has been truly effective, without an understanding of those different needs and ways in
which to meet them, and the Gender Manual is aimed at developing this competency amongst youth workers.


Centre for Education and Enterprise Development (CEED) – Life Skills Manual
CEED’s presentation introduced their Life Skills Training manual. The manual informs their training of youth development
workers in their facilitation of life skills programmes with young people. The background to the manual and its content
were discussed and a practical demonstration of some components was provided. They key to the manual and to the
life skills programme is that they are designed to be participatory. A crucial aspect of the programme is the concept of
behavioural change, which is a process that moves through several stages of development. These are knowledge;
approval; intention; practice and advocacy.




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There are six areas of focus areas in the manual. These are:

   Health and Safety
   Self Awareness
   Self Management
   Interpersonal relations
   Democratic Citizenship
   Employability

Each life skills focus area has several sub areas. Each sub area is provided with a list of outcomes against which to
measure participants’ movement in the programme. These specific competencies are developed through a series of
workshops. The manual is still in the process of completion as there are still modules on spirituality and entrepreneurship
to be added.

An important feature of the programme is the variety of exercises available within each section of the manual. This allows
for flexibility and shows an understanding of context and how young people have different as well as similar needs.
These exercises can be adapted for use in various circumstances. For example, a Life Skills Programme in a rural area
would use different exercises than the same programme in an urban area. CEED has acknowledged the need for their
programmes to relate to the different backgrounds from which participants come.

CEED concluded that youth workers need to understand and emphasise that young people do not exist in isolation, and
that this must be taken into account when working with them. The Manual encourages young people to share experiences
and use the group process to deal with personal experiences that may have been traumatic.


Joint Enrichment Project (JEP) – Lessons from the field
JEP’s presentation highlighted lessons from the field gathered during the implementation of their Youth Service Programme
in the North West Province. The discussion focussed on both the problems that had arisen and some of the solutions to
these problems. In addition the group raised methods of avoiding problems.

The primary principle of JEP’s Youth Service programmes is that the development of young people is important as it leads
to the development of the communities in which they live. Tied into this is the idea that the most important part of a
successful programme is getting the community to buy into the programme philosophy.

Some of the difficulties that JEP encountered during implementation included problems finding suitable partners –
some structures do not have the capacity to support the programme, while the attitude of others was not consistent with
JEP’s philosophy. In addition the need to build relationships meant that the JEP co-ordinators spent a lot of their time
doing this, while there was a lot of other work that needed to be done. The project in the North West was an agricultural
one, and this was an area new to JEP. The facilitators had no experience in agriculture, so providing support was a
challenge, and outside expertise had to be called upon.

The comments and suggestions on the presentation centred on the problems faced by NGOs operating in South Africa
today. These included the opinion that NGO budgets are usually all spent on the training phase of programmes, with no
consideration being given to keeping funds back for important priorities such as aftercare and documentation. This led
to discussion on planning – that an organisation’s work is demonstrated in its aftercare, which must be championed in
proposals, and must also be included in the budget.




    24
                                                                                       LESSONS FROM THE FIELD




Establishment for Comprehensive Youth Development (ECYD) – Tourism Programme
ECYD presented its tourism programme – how it was implemented, its successes and some of the difficulties encountered.
Further they discussed the importance of youth development organisations becoming more involved in the tourism
sector and applying the principles of IYD to such programmes.

ECYD’s Tourism Placement Programme commenced in 2003. Its purpose was to create an awareness among young
people and their communities about the importance of the tourism industry; to expose young people to existing
opportunities in the tourism sector for career-pathing and employment; and to encourage young people to become
role players in the economic upliftment of their communities through the tourism industry.

Three Limpopo schools have launched Tourism as a subject, and are registered for examination purposes with the
Department of Education. The new subject has contributed to increased matric pass rates of 97 – 100% in these schools.
A number of learners have pursued careers in tourism as a result of the programme, and some teachers have obtained
qualifications in the sector.

Challenges identified in the presentation included limited resources for training, as well as limited financial aid for
young people who are looking to further their studies in tourism. In addition there were difficulties having the programme
recognised by the Provincial Department of Education. Finally, a huge challenge was that the tourism sector as a whole
remained overwhelmingly white.


School Leavers Opportunity Training (SLOT) – Attributes of a successful entrepreneur
SLOT presented a research project on the attributes of a successful entrepreneur, which is in the process of being
finalised. The aim of the project is to identify the attributes, either inherent or learned, of the owners of 10 successful
micro-enterprises, all of whom participated in the training programme run by SLOT, with the intention of using the
information to improve the selection process of future students.

The goals of the research project were:

   To discover what attributes members of these groups (the 10 micro-business owners mentioned above) believe are
    important to starting and running your own business
   To compare differing criteria linked to length of operation / age / education attributes of successful young
    entrepreneurs and see if there is any correlation between these criteria
   To identify the 10 most common attributes and rank them
   To use the findings in a further study to explore the possibility of developing a selection process for future
    students in the programme that will help to identify those applicants who have the greatest potential for success
    in starting and maintaining their own dynamic enterprises.
The research will be utilised to assist with the measuring of programme impact (substantiating the feeling among
facilitators and field workers that they are succeeding); ensure continuous improvement in the programme; and assist
with the accessing of donor funds.




                                                                                                                   25
    YOUTH DEVELOPMENT NETWORK - CONFERNCE PROCEEDINGS




While the research is in the process of being completed, some of the attributes identified by the SLOT programme
participants as being important for the success of a self-owned business include:

   being persistent / committed
   being prepared to make sacrifices
   the ability to plan
   having an ‘internal locus of control’
   being disciplined and
   having strong community links



Reflections on Electives: “As we reflect together, we learn together”
The presentations allowed for active discussion and several issues emerged that needed to be examined and discussed
further. Firstly there is a need for the YDN to define its target group and decide how to meet the needs of that group.
At the same time, the Network needs to ensure that the YDN’s work is disseminated widely amongst young people, and
the best interests of the youth should inform activities. In addition, the YDN should be able to illustrate the challenges
and successes of the youth sector.

Secondly, within the context of dissemination and sharing it is crucial for YDN Member Organisations to share their work
with each other. An important learning that emerged was that too few staff members at Member Organisations have a
solid idea of what their colleagues are doing, and how they can tie their work together, and learn from each other.

Thirdly and most importantly the presentation provided a space within which participants were able to identify gaps in
their own programmes by looking at how other organisations did their work. Specifically, participants identified the
following issues: the need to focus on the attitudes and values of youth workers; YDN staff need to be given introductory
sessions on the youth worker tools that are produced; the need for programme aftercare to be included in budgeting,
as it is a crucial component of any programme.




    26
                                                                                          YDN BUSINESS SESSION




     YDN Business Session
This session aimed to provide participants with a forum in which they could discuss issues raised in earlier sessions that
were considered to be of importance to the YDN as a whole. The table below highlights the framework from which the
discussions operated and which summarises the salient conference issues into the business section.


               Issue                                          Suggested strategies / action
 Partnership development                        Member Organisations get involved in review and planning of
                                                Integrated Development Plans (IDP) at relevant local municipality level.

                                                National Programme with a government department involving all
                                                member organisations.

                                                Joint collaboration on partnerships within YDN (amongst member
                                                organisations).

 Relationships with key stakeholders            Research, develop and adopt policy positions within the YDN.

                                                Determine YDN position on National Youth Commission, SA Youth
                                                Council, Umsobomvu Youth Fund.

                                                Conduct a 10-year review of youth development.

                                                Develop a public advocacy profile (possible national campaign).

 Youth Participation                            Member organisations to review existing programmes and institutional
                                                mechanisms (policies, governance etc) to promote youth participation.

                                                Set up working group within YDN to develop new knowledge on youth
                                                participation (report to Members Conference 2005).

 Economic Opportunities for                     Focus and provide relevant and useful information on market
 young people                                   opportunities to young people and member organisations.

                                                Develop private sector links to access supply chains, mentors, etc.

                                                Develop advocacy positions on youth employment related to public
                                                advocacy profile.

Additional issues that were raised by participants included the need for the development of a sustainability strategy,
which would see the YDN through periods where the Network is in transition between or without funders; and that of
the autonomy of member organisations, and how they could ensure that their core work ties into the YDN’s focus areas.




                                                                                                                  27
    YOUTH DEVELOPMENT NETWORK - CONFERNCE PROCEEDINGS




     Conclusions
The YDN members conference provided a critical platform for the national office and for the member organisations to
reflect on the past ten years of democracy, and provided the Network with a space to identify where the challenges in
youth development are and to strategise on how to deal with them. It also provided a space for Member Organisations
to share models of good practice, new ideas about the field and models that can be replicated. Additionally, the
Conference allowed the Network to highlight emerging issues and themes on which it needs to take action.

Under the theme ‘a decade of youth development: creating an enabling environment for democracy and development’
various salient points emerged. Delegates felt that the YDN already operated within an enabling framework via the
principles of integrated youth development (IYD). It was thought that the YDN needed to embark on a wider strategy to
advocate for these principles are the most effective way of working with young people. As part of its advocacy strategy
it was recommended that the YDN evaluate its involvement with key governmental role players in the youth sector in
order to influence the priority of youth development in the national political agenda. Linked to this, the YDN would need
to advocate strongly to create a positive image of young people. As part of the advocacy initiative it was suggested that
the network revive its strategic partnerships as well as strengthen it research focus areas and the dissemination of
results among a wide range of stakeholders, from government to young people. These activities would serve to
strengthen the YDN’s role as a credible reference point within the youth development sector. Future activities within
the YDN would be served well by a focus on policy recommendations, knowledge about local government issues and an
exploration of different approaches to funding and sustainability.


The theme ‘youth participation: developing spaces and hearing the voices of youth’ raised the primary concern that
there was lack of clarity around the concept of participation. There are many forms of participation beyond the
institutionalised ones of voting and volunteering, and it is important that youth workers know what they define ‘effective’
participation as being. A valid point was that a lack of turnout at the polling stations was not an indication that young
people were unwilling to participate. With regard to the power dynamics that operate between youth practitioners and
young people, it was thought that youth practitioners have a need to protect their knowledge and power, and are thus
selective in imparting information to young people. In order for the YDN to fulfil its mission, the organisation needs to
ensure that its programmes represent the needs and desires of young people by giving them a chance to speak directly
about the issues that affect them.

The primary challenge identified with regard to ‘ youth economic empowerment: youth service, skills training, learnerships
and entrepreneurships’ was that of a lack of capacity within the sector regarding the opportunities available to young
people and the criteria for accessing these opportunities.

At the end of the conference, Mokoka Seshabela (Director of SAAYC) ended his term of office as the Chair of the YDN
Board of Directors. His contribution to the development of the Network was acknowledged and applauded. The new
Chair of the YDN Board of Directors will be the Director of Junior Achievement South Africa – Zanele Twala.




    28
                         CEED




                   Youth Development Network
15th Floor , CCMA House, 20 Anderson Street , Marshalltown , 2107
          Tel: + 27 11 836 2172 • Fax: + 27 11 838 4608
        E-mail: ydn@sn.apc.org • Website: www.ydn.org.za

				
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