"Stats SA tracks the demographics of youth population in South Africa. According to recently released projections, youth age 0-24 will account for a staggering 50% of the total South African population in 15 years. At this present time, 20% of the population is age 15-24.It is in this age group that new infections of HIV/AIDS is most prevalent, as confirmed by HIV/AIDS research. And it is this teen age group that experiences the biggest education and opportunity deficit. Any positive and effective impact on behavior and attitude in this youth cohort will write a new chapter in the HIV/AIDS story.
Kwethu Children’s Village has a response to this opportunity!
Bridging the Gap 15-24 is a mentoring, experiential, training program aiming to identify youth with motivation and character but lacking access to opportunity and positive identity models. Designed and driven by seasoned community development manager, Ms. Phumzile Ndlovu, this will become Kwethu’s community outreach. It’s an ambitious leap, but in light of steady increase of HIV/AIDS and a burgeoning youth population, we think the challenge is crucial to take up. We’ve started in April with appreciative inquiry, in a series of small groups recruited from the Injesuthi Clinic catchment area. This will be followed by careful choice of participants and then long term mentoring, training, identifying dreams and goals and making a positive impact on personal world views of young men and women. This program, whose main goal is to build a strong, Christ centered identity in young people who have little honest and healthy direction in their lives, needs prayer for the persons involved and for crucial funding.
Another way to look at this expanded opportunity is the chance it gives us to share the positive, excellent ethos of Kwethu beyond our gates. The youth at Kwethu are an exciting bunch of kids, a core of inspiration and positive influence at school and beyond. So judge for yourself whether the seed plot has borne fruit!
In January, 19 yr. old Thando Ndlovu was accepted and registered at University of KwaZulu Natal in Applied Chemistry, with a scholarship from the Premier’s Office.
Nokuthula Ndawonde, 17 years, entered Durban University of Technology for a National Diploma in Accounting.
Patience, her sister, is doing her fourth and last year towards a Nursing degree.
Kenan Ndlovu, 21 years, landed a yearlong apprenticeship at GI Chemical Co. in Durban.
Zamani Ndlovu, 27 his brother and our oldest ‘kid’ was recruited as an apprentice artisan at
BMW Motorrad in March, to obtain credentials as a bike mechanic.
Today Melusi Sithole, 24, signed his contract for 6 months of Electrical Technician at a local
training center. This will qualify him for a paid position as apprentice in a big company….and
he’ll be on his way toward his ambitious youthful goal: to provide free electricity to the whole
country. The following young people didn’t grow up at KCV, but they are included because they live and work with us:
Masindi Mchunu, 19, in University of Free State second year of teacher training
Jacob Mabaso, 23, will register at Unisa in July for his first semester towards a Bachelors of
Social Work. He’s uncovered this passion, and with that passion, he will anchor the work of
Bridging the Gap as a peer mentor."
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