Providing youth with a platform to shine

The Transnet Foundation hosted an exhibition of the work done with four high schools for its Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP) – where young people take part in school development, empowerment, arts and culture, wellness initiatives and sport.

Pupils from Manenberg High, Intlanganiso High in Khayelitsha, Bardale High in Blue Downs and Tembaletu School for the Disabled in Gugulethu, showcased their skills during the exhibition, which was held at the City Hall on Wednesday March 15.

Among the talent displayed, pupils from Intlanganiso impressed those who attended with their angelic voices while doing a capella songs, and also did well when they performed a skit.

The exhibition was held in three rooms, and each room represented a different aspect of the work done within YEP.

Partners of YEP, who assist with the programme, also exhibited their work. Among the organisations were Fundza, an NPO, which uses technology to encourage young people to read, and Ikamva Sports and Performing Arts.

Nandipha Tshabane from Fundza, said her organisation also offers mentorships to aspiring writers, and assists pupils with the knowledge needed to start school newsletters. And because young people are so technologically-inclined, their programme allows the youth to read a book on their cellphones.

Ikamva Sports and Performing Arts, which is based in Samora Machel, offers cricket, netball, tag rugby, and athletics to the young people.

The YEP programme was established in October last year, and aims to promote social cohesion between schools and communities in Cape Town with unique and sustainable programmes.

It targets pupils from Grade 8 to Grade 10, but does not neglect other grades when the need arises. Those who assist the programme include Transnet employees who volunteer, learner representative councils, school governing bodies, school management, and non-government organisations.