Teaching assistants brainstorm solutions

Lentegeur schools were able to put pen to paper in presenting solutions to social equity challenges like education, health, littering and safety.

Presidential youth employment initiative (PYEI) teacher assistants from 10 schools in Lentegeur attended a three-day conference at Lobelia community hall from Tuesday May 9 until Thursday May 11.

The conference ended with social equity challenge competition in which participants were mentored in developing business plans for their solutions.

Winners Meadowridge Primary School participants Jade Stemmet, Natasha Claasen, principal Denver Albertyn, Muneeba Daniels and Zintle Nobembela.

Team MyMedic, from Meadowridge Primary school, won first prize for presenting a solution to the delivery and collection of medicines.

Hyacinth Primary School participants Nelam Dunn, Gadija Arendse, Aaqilah Titus, Abigail Sauls, Shirne April, Raeesa Arnold, Ruqeya Birch, Alvina Lamini and Yaaseen Jappie.

Runners up Hyacinth Primary School, who called themselves Little Litter Pickers, found a solution for littering, job development and supporting feeding schemes.

Cornflower Primary School staff and Avron Plaatjies, councillor for Ward 76.

Cornflower Primary School, took third place in addressing literacy and encouraging youth to read.

The top three groups won three-months virtual mentorship by various business people, to develop their products or services.

Each of the attendees also received access to an online business entrepreneurship programme.

Non-profit organisation Junior Achievement South Africa (JASA), the Western Cape Education Department (WCED), and Avron Plaatjies, councillor for Ward 76, collaborated in hosting the event.

Conference facilitator Zaida Julius, from JASA, said these conferences gave the youth an in depth understanding of how future leaders needed to look at social challenges and that they had to work together to find solutions.

“Through the conference they gain all the skills to a start businesses and to become self-sustainable,” she said.

Mr Plaatjies said that he was overwhelmed to “witness the power of giving our youth the opportunity to find solutions to social equity challenges”.

He said that the collaboration showed that together they could empower youth to become business entrepreneurs and assist in solving the huge youth unemployment challenge within the country.

“This is a clear indicator that our youth have the skill to be the future leaders,” he said.

Mr Plaatjies called on businesses to support them to bring more of these initiative into the communities.

“This is only the beginning,“ he said.

Meadowridge Primary School principal Denver Albertyn visited the conference daily and felt the excitement and energy as the conference and competition unfolded.

“This conference is clear evidence that the only thing our youth need is opportunities like these. Well done to all the attendees, you are all winners,” he said.

Topics included skills development, business and community; entrepreneurship; identified social needs and solutions.