YES to a greener world

Vuk'uzenzele - - General -

PAR­TIC­I­PANTS in the YES Pro­gramme were in­volved in en­vi­ron­men­tal sur­veys, waste sort­ing, and im­ple­ment­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal days in their com­mu­nity.

The North West’s Paul Borokelo says even when he is dressed up, he still picks up waste from the street be­cause car­ing for the en­vi­ron­ment is a cause close to his heart.

Borokelo (30) from Koster in Kgetlen­griv­ier Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, re­cently grad­u­ated from the Youth En­vi­ron­men­tal Ser­vices (YES) Pro­gramme with a Na­tional Diploma in En­vi­ron­men­tal Ed­u­ca­tion, Train­ing and Devel­op­ment Prac­tice.

“Peo­ple say I’m crazy for still clean­ing up when I’m 'dressed to kill'. But it’s what I do. I want to take care of the en­vi­ron­ment and live in a place that is clean, ” smiles Borokelo.

The YES Pro­gramme, an ini­tia­tive of the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Af­fairs, aims to gen­er­ate job cre­ation, small busi­ness and skills devel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties through the Ex­panded Pub­lic Works Pro­gramme (EPWP).

Twenty-eight can­di­dates, in­clud­ing Borokelo, par­tic­i­pated in the pro­gramme dur­ing 2015/2016 and 2016/2017. They were awarded a diploma from the Ed­u­ca­tion, Train­ing and Devel­op­ment Prac­tices (ETDP) SETA, in part­ner­ship with the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Af­fairs, Delta En­vi­ron­ment Cen­tre, and the Univer­sity of South Africa (UNISA).

A fur­ther 120 par­tic­i­pants grad­u­ated from the skills pro­gramme with 147 cred­its, and were awarded cer­tifi­cates of at­ten­dance. Borokelo, who works as a gen­eral worker at SAPS Koster, joined the Yes Progamme in 2015, com­plet­ing a cer­tifi­cate in the skills mod­ule. He en­rolled for the diploma course in 2016.

“I wanted to study but I didn’t have enough in­for­ma­tion or re­sources to do so. I have a great love for the en­vi­ron­ment and our im­pact on it, so I jumped at the chance to join the pro­gramme,” Borokelo said. Ob­tain­ing the diploma was chal­leng­ing but a good learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, he said.

“We had to cre­ate busi­ness plans to open a waste re­cy­cling cen­tre. It was tough but we wanted to make a dif­fer­ence,” said Borokelo.

Borokelo spent time ed­u­cat­ing the com­mu­nity on how and where to re­cy­cle waste ma­te­rial and iden­tify which waste ma­te­rial they could use to earn money. He also taught peo­ple how to man­age their own waste pro­duc­tion to min­imise dump­ing on street cor­ners.

“Through the pro­gramme, we started gar­dens in schools and lo­cal com­mu­nity cen­tres, teach­ing the com­mu­nity how to use gar­dens for food and to make money. We re­ceived a lot of pos­i­tive sup­port from the com­mu­nity,” said Borokelo.

Borokelo said the YES Pro­gramme has opened doors for its par­tic­i­pants.

Paul Borokelo, a true am­bas­sodor of the en­vi­ron­ment.

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