Rocklands Youth Cafe receives R2.2 m upgrade

The department of Social Development has spent a total of R2 219 640 on the Rocklands Youth Cafe since its inception in 2014 and recently implemented some changes.

Among these changes are the addition of new courses and a lowering of the minimum membership age to 14 years old.

Before you had to be16 years old to join the Youth Cafe.

The free workshops cover office management, project management, computer basics, graphic design, entrepreneurship, events management, job readiness and social innovation.

Spokeswoman for the department of Social Development, Esther Lewis, said during 2014, more than 1 000 young people were trained in courses including social media, digital management, project management, wellness, IT and business management.

And in 2015, the number of young people reached increased to more than 6 000.

“Young people choose courses on offer, which is of the most interest to them. Youth are also encouraged to do community projects, for which they earn incentives in the form of zlatos. This is the Youth Café virtual currency used to purchase coffee and muffins.”

Ms Lewis said any young person can visit the Youth Café in Park Road, Rocklands, where they will be registered with his or her ID and phone number, before being introduced to the programmes run there.

Craig Jephta from Rocklands, who has been at the cafe since 2014, said the place has enhanced his appetite for learning.

“As a young person, I think the youth cafe has helped me grow academically and personally. I’m more skilled now in technology, entrepreneurship and it has given me a platform to assist my community,” he said.

Craig has done the entrepreneurship, digital essentials, community development, peer coaching and leaderdship courses at the cafe.

He has also done the mentorship course and the UCT Getsmarter Course.

“I encourage our young and older residents to join the Youth Cafe. The Youth Cafe is a well thought out and designed model that allows our young people not to become a statistic,” he said.

* Young people can also follow the Youth Café’s activities on Facebook, email at rocklands@youthcafe.co.za or call on 021 391 0292.