Cafe aims to inspire youth
A SAFE space to learn, play and think.
That’s the aim for youngsters from Gugulethu and Manenberg with the arrival of a new youth cafe. Situated in Gugulethu, near Nyanga Junction at the Oliver Kahn Safety Hub, the project serves both communities.
There are two other youth cafes in safety hubs – one in Site B in Khayelitsha and a third in Diepsloot, Johannesburg. These are joint initiatives of Amandla EduFootball, an international organisation endorsed by the UN, and the provincial Social Development department.
The space was abuzz with young people in training sessions earlier this week, while others were engrossed in surfing the Net as they worked to complete assignments.
The Social Development department has also set up youth cafes, although they are not part of a safety hub, in Rocklands, Vangate, Vrygrond, Elgin, Oudtshoorn and George.
Social Development MEC Albert Fritz launched the new youth cafe in Gugulethu recently, saying the safe hub next to Nyanga Junction was significant because “it brings together young people from the communities of Gugulethu and Manenberg, historically separated under apartheid”.
While the hub is fully equipped with top-class sports facilities, the youth cafe boasts high-speed internet. There is a blossoming Friday night football league sponsored by the Community Safety department.
According to the Social Development department, when young people get involved in activities at the cafe, they earn “Zlato”, a virtual currency used to access the internet, coffee stations, training courses, seminars, etc. They are looking at ways to expand this currency to pay for public transport.
Mickey Mashego, head of facilities at the hub, said they ran 12-month learnerships with between 10 and 15 youngsters at a time.
Some were accredited, others not, but the purpose of all was to “offer skills development programmes, ensure employment readiness, as well as basic computer skills”.
As part of after-school programmes, youngsters can participate in or facilitate fair play football leagues, which include two types of league – a pure football league and a lifestyle league, which assesses behaviour on and off the pitch.
“This is part of our life skills training of our 50-week curriculum,” said Mashego, adding the youth cafes were a way to “develop the youth, while bearing in mind that it needs a holistic approach”.
“The youth cafe plays a critical role for the older people who are unemployed and are not in school.
“We created a lively space for the youth to get the necessary training to assist them in gaining access to the job space,” he added.
The department will also provide funding for 10 Extended Public Works Programme interns to work at the cafe. The safety hub and youth cafe are open weekdays.
Young people interact at the youth cafe near Nyanga Junction which aims to help to link the youth of Gugulethu and Manenberg.
The youth cafe wants to inspire the youth of Gugulethu and Manenberg to access learning opportunities and gain access to the job market.