New ideas Xchange

Sunday World - - World Of Jobs - SIXOLISIWE NDAWO

UN­EM­PLOYED young South Africans are tak­ing part in a South­ern African Devel­op­ment Com­mu­nity re­gion ed­u­ca­tion pro­gramme.

SayXchange, a joint part­ner­ship be­tween loveLife and the South­ern Africa Trust, is aimed at pro­mot­ing re­gional ed­u­ca­tion and fight­ing xeno­pho­bia by giv­ing par­tic­i­pants a chance to ex­pe­ri­ence new cul­tures in Zam­bia, Mozam­bique and Malawi.

They will spend four months in the three coun­tries pro­mot­ing re­gional in­te­gra­tion and iden­ti­fy­ing young lead­ers in these coun­tries.

The par­tic­i­pants will also en­cour­age and sup­port youth in­ter­ac­tion in civic af­fairs, un­der­stand­ing one another’s cul­tures and the so­cial is­sues faced in south­ern Africa.

Among the par­tic­i­pants are Nokanyo Makhutha (23) from the Eastern Cape, Ash­leigh Davids (22) from Cape Town and Thulisile Buzani (24) from Roset­tenville in Joburg.

I ex­pect to ex­pe­ri­ence the dif­fer­ent cul­tures and lan­guages of Africa,” said Makhutha.

There is an NGO called Yali that we will be work­ing with,” she said. They will guide us on all that we will be do­ing.”

Yali is based in Zam­bia, and stands for Young African Lead­ers Ini­tia­tive.

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But the pro­gramme was not a job cre­ation ini­tia­tive, said co-or­di­na­tor Conny Jager.

It’s to help them get new ideas to bring back to South Africa.”

The par­tic­i­pants, made up of stu­dents and un­em­ployed young peo­ple, will have to look for jobs in their prov­inces once they re­turn in De­cem­ber.

They will be alumni of the pro­gramme,” said Jager.

loveLife ex­ec­u­tive man­ager Andile Dube said: With this pro­gramme, the chances of get­ting em­ploy­ment de­pends on how they [the par­tic­i­pants] ta­ble what they need.”

The par­tic­i­pants will be housed with a fam­ily in the coun­tries they are vis­it­ing. Those fam­i­lies will be given a stipend of R1 000, to pro­vide three meals a day for them.

But the par­tic­i­pants will have to foot the bill for their own day-to-day liv­ing.

They don’t get a stipend. We ve al­ready dis­cussed it with them. loveLife is not re­spon­si­ble for em­ploy­ment af­ter­wards,” she said. We are in­ter­ested in them con­tin­u­ing to do things.”

Jager said the par­tic­i­pants had to foot some of the bills to be part of the pro­gramme.

Dube was adamant that the pro­gramme was not about ca­reer devel­op­ment, but about in­ter­est and in­volve­ment in devel­op­ment.

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