James House launched a new programme on Monday to help young women who want to further their studies or find employment.
Foezaile Booysen and Babalwa Xamsana will lead the Youth Academy programme for unemployed women.
“Many young women in Hangberg and Imizamo Yethu are sitting at home doing nothing, so we want to help them to get into FET Colleges and assist others with drawing up their CVs and getting jobs. We started with the recruitment process in January and were looking for 20 youths from both communities. Our criteria were for women only, between the ages of 16 and 25 who have passed at least Grade 9.
We already have various other projects for children at younger ages and felt that starting up this one is important because the young adults will get the opportunity to get back into schools,” said Ms Xamsana.
She said there had been a very good response.
“We’re already planning to do another intake once this course is complete,” she said.
The duo interviewed all the candidates to find those best suited for the programme, which will run from 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.
With the majority of the responses coming from Imizamo Yethu, Mr Booysen said James House had drawn some flak from the Hangberg community.
“Generally the community in Hangberg assume that James House is a place for people who have behaviour problems, but we are actually focused on developing both the community and human development,” said Mr Booysen.
“The response we received from Imizamo Yethu was better than that of Hangberg even though we have a strong presence in both communities.
“For this new programme, our focus is on youth who have dropped out of school and don’t have a way forward. We also realised that some of our clients don’t even have an Identity document and don’t know how to get one.
Some don’t know how to write a CV, so we will them to get that done… we’ll walk the journey with them, even if it’s going to apply for a learner’s licence or driver’s licence. We will also look at bringing in other resources like career guidance or how to dress for and conduct themselves in job interviews,” he said.
Mr Booysen added that they would scout for bursaries for those who wanted to study.
James House’s Siya Manqunyana said they planned to hold a fete on Freedom Day, Saturday April 27, to help fund the programme.
“We will be selling various things from electrical appliances to crockery and clothing. All the items we’ll be selling were donated and the funds we make from the sales day will be extremely helpful,” said Mr Manqunyana.