Llewellyn Jones, Rocklands
It is with a strong sense of hope and belief that I share these words today.
Our country, our communities, as with the rest of the world, has been hard hit with the Covid-19 pandemic, natural disasters, political, socio-economic upheavals and the increasing rise in unemployment – currently at over 45%.
As an able-bodied male and breadwinner, I commend those who have taken any and all opportunities to provide for themselves and their loved ones.
It saddens me, however, to see so many of our young people still walking around aimlessly and without purpose.
I am a firm believer that people like me can make a difference in these people’s lives.
By imparting knowledge and teaching skills, we not only empower but also motivate and nurture the next generation.
All of us have different passions, skills and levels of expertise.
Why not use this to train and educate others?
I am passionate about art and especially woodwork and have created some very unique pieces.
Everything I create is handmade.
It would be an absolute privilege for me to teach the youth about my love of art and working with wood and other natural products.
My dream has always been for our local government to initiate projects in which like minded individuals can be assisted to reach out and tackle the scourge of unemployment head on.
Allow us the use of municipal facilities, like halls and civic centres, to host workshops and training sessions.
Aid us by donating equipment such as tools and machinery for practical training.
Show us ways in which to reach out to corporations and the retail sector for financial assistance and mentoring opportunities.
Allow experienced and retired artisans to have a platform on which to encourage a new wave of entrepreneurs.
There is no doubt in my mind that with proper training and guidance, our youth can be trained to create and sell products of high quality on the local and international market.
The furniture that I make, for example, can afford dedicated individuals a means to write their own pay-check and start their own businesses.
This is the “each one, teach one” philosophy in full effect.
I am appealing to anyone who sees the benefit of this kind of initiative to join me in starting to turn the tide against helplessness in Mitchell’s Plain.
We too can prosper and succeed.
We need to help each other and make a stand.
Ward councillors, teachers, mentors, pastors, grandparents, retirees – let us make a conscious decision to help our young people to create a better future for us all.