‘I’m trying to find my way’

Pictured standing are graduates of a 12-day job readiness course. Seated are representatives from registered non-profit The Zanokhanyo Network (TZN) and NGO Hope Southern Africa (HOSA).

Youth from Mitchell’s Plain, Strandfontein and surrounding communities were encouraged to find the golden nuggets within themselves, to showcase to prospective employers.

The 15 youth and parents, completed a 12-day job readiness course at the former League of the Friends of the Blind (LOFOB) building, in Camp Road Strandfontein, from Tuesday March 13 until Thursday March 29.

The course, offered by registered non-profit The Zanokhanyo Network (TZN), cost R100, which was subsidised by NGO Hope Southern Africa (HOSA).

TZN offers a transformative job readiness journey that empowers the unemployed with the confidence, skills and resources they need to obtain meaningful work.

Pastor Garry Mars, who transported participants from Lavender Hill, Pelican Park and Retreat, said it had been difficult to entice local residents, despite them having advertised the programme at bus stops and on notice boards.

The programme was intended for 25 participants but only 19 people started and four dropped out before completion.

Henk van de Geest, from HOSA, said the programme included computer skills, creating a curriculum vitae, searching for vacancies, job applications, rights and responsibilities, goal setting, time management, emotional healing, who am I and why character matters.

Faiek Gallie, 19, who matriculated from Glendale High School in Rocklands last year, said he would like to be a traffic officer.

“I’m trying to find my way,” he said, adding that the course was all about improving himself, communicating with other people and emitting positive vibes.

Faiek said the phrase “No show. No success” would ensure he attended Day 13 of the programme, a follow-up session, scheduled for today, Wednesday April 4.

He attended the programme with his mother Lizanne Solomons, who lives in Pelican Park.

“(The course) enables you to carry yourself better. It empowered the youth but it also encouraged us to share what we have learned with others,” she said.

“We need to pull the children in before the gangsters get hold of them.”

Lynnette Segers, 44, who lives in 7de Laan, said she knew how important it was to be employed.

She was once in the marketing industry, and lived in Strandfontein before moving to the informal settlement.

“It is tough out there. I became a tortoise, avoiding conflict, but the course helped me develop grit, perseverance and showed me the importance of emotional intelligence, good character and skills to change me into a proud peacock,” she said.

Meagan Daniels, a TZN facilitator of the course, said the certificate showed that the participants had accomplished something.

“I worked for it. We want to see people thrive and not just survive,” she said.

Ms Daniels encouraged participants to use the resources they had been given and have access to, having completed the course.

They can use TZN’s computer resource centre in Epping, and check their emails, after having set up email addresses during the course.

For details and future programmes email TZN info@commongood.org.za or Joachem@ho-sa.org.