BY REGINALD KANYANE
FIFTY unemployed youth in Dr Ruth Mompati region benefited from the national youth service programme after they went through training.
The social development department awarded them certificates in computer end user, enterprise development and civil construction.
MEC for social development, Kgakgamatso Nkewu said 775 unemployed youth from impoverished areas benefited from the programme since 2011.
“We expect you to go out there and change lives. Make sure that you have your own cooperatives to fight poverty and create jobs. Your background does not necessarily have to determine your future. “Unemployment remains one of the critical challenges faced by our country. Youth are the most affected group and the government has evaluated the impact. We render services to young people through youth development,” Nkewu said.
She also said those who received training needed to share their skills with their communities. Nkewu further said the youth could boost the economy by creating cooperatives.
“Go out and look for sponsorship from businesses in your area including various government departments. Sit together and plan on how to advance your goals.
“It is now the time for young people to come up with innovative ideas. They need to change their mindset and stop indulging in crime and substance abuse. Nowadays young people embark on strikes, destroy buildings and loot shops.
“The future is in your hands. Each generation out of relative obscurity, discovers its mission and either fulfils or betrays it. I would hope that the generation of these young people, presently here today have discovered their mission,” she said. Nkewu also commended all stakeholders involved in the process to equip young people.
Kagisano Molopo local municipality mayor, Veronica Keketsi shared the same sentiments. Keketsi said that youth empowerment was imperative. “The country will benefit as the youth are our future leaders. This is more like transferring of skills and work ethics.
We are adding a meaning to life and the initiative will help to reduce crime rate. “If we empower the youth, they will miss the chances of engaging in anti-social behaviour too.
“Let us encourage them to form their own cooperatives and lead them to self-employment and rapid industrialisation,” Keketsi said.
One of the beneficiaries, Boikanyo Modisaotsile from Gamoitsenyane village in Morokweng said she welcomed the initiative. “I am very grateful to receive my certificate after 12 months of intensive training. The programme facilitates the process of nation-building and development.
We need to be empowered as the youth for economic growth,” Modisaotsile said. Another beneficiary, Tsholofelo Dintwe said the certificate was ideal. She said that the training would open doors for her.
“The youth are the most affected group. We need to come up with strategic plans to reduce unemployment.
“Youth empowerment enables one to consider vital tenets and societal values. It also helps to commit oneself to worthwhile values,” Dintwe said.
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