The Harvest Youth Project in Hout Bay harbour celebrated the start of the school holidays with its popular “Youth Jam” event on Saturday December 10.
Children and teenagers from the Hout Bay communities of Hangberg and Imizamo Yethu and well as groups from Masiphumelele, Mitchell’s Plain and Ocean View descended on the harbour for a day of fun and the chance to pit their dancing skills against their peers on stage.
“This is a chance for youth to enjoy themselves, and realise no matter what their circumstances, they can achieve whatever they set out to achieve,” said MC and Harvest Youth Project co-ordinator, Peter Michaels.
Also in attendance were members of the provincial Department of Social Development, who gave a presentation on the work they are doing to uplift young people. The event also served as a precursor to the arrival of American arts students from the University of Chicago today Friday December 16.
Pastor Philip Frans explained that the American volunteers would be conducting a series of workshops and outings over the course of a month, during which time young people from Hangberg and Imizamo Yethu would have the chance to familiarise themselves with “new careers”, such as digital photography, digital storytelling and videography.
“We have had a very positive response to their visit. In the past few weeks we have had a recruitment drive, visiting schools to get the pupils involved. A few of the American students recently visited Hout Bay to film a documentary, and when they saw what we were doing, they told us that this was exactly the kind of project they were looking for. So we are looking forward to welcoming them and learning from them.”
The interest of the American visitors in Hout Bay is also placing renewed interest in the Hangberg Education Development Movement, which seeks to give job opportunities to local youth. “One of the great challenges we have in Hout Bay is that we do not have a college here. Young people have to spend a lot of money travelling to places like Westlake to attend college. We are in negotiations with False Bay College to assist us, but in the interim we are looking for opportunities for our youth.
“Since the establishment of the Hangberg Education Movement we have managed to have young people placed with SANParks, the Hout Bay Business Opportunity Forum and Northlink College, so we are hoping to achieve much of the same going forward.”
Meanwhile, Pastor Frans is appealing to the Hout Bay community to support the Harvest Youth Project’s annual holiday celebrations for underprivileged children between the ages of three and 12 on Thursday December 22.
Those willing to make donations of gifts and items of clothing can contact him on 079 067 1345.