By Paul Mabote
In a country that is said to be a land of opportunity, it is scary to think that so many people struggle daily to make ends meet and put food on the table. Unemployment has long been a source of continual distress for many South Africans – young and old, and the Covid-19 pandemic has only deepened the cut. News24.com reports that the official unemployment rate in South Africa is at a staggering 32,5%. Needless to say, it is rough out there and searching for a job can be a draining mission.
ACTIVATE! is aware of this reality and as part of their strategy to develop and equip young people, they run A! Classifieds. A! Classifieds is a series of updates on available employment and other opportunities, sent frequently to Activators through different social media platforms. 2019 Activator Refiloe Sibisi took advantage of the platform and has recently found employment through an opportunity she learned about on A! Classifieds.
“I found out about the A! Classifieds platform a while ago while browsing through the blog section of the ACTIVATE! Change Drivers website, and I eventually found an opportunity which really resonated with me, which was a vacancy for a youth advisor at Higher Health South Africa.” Refiloe says. She adds that although her virtual job interview in February was not conducted in the most ideal circumstances because she was at home and the background was not the quietest one, she still got the call to say that she had gotten the job!
Sibisi says “I believe that I am the right fit for the job because I realized while going through the roles and responsibilities of the position that the position mainly concerns mental health. We are currently conducting a study in three countries, the United Kingdom, India and South Africa, to put together a mental health data bank.” This process, Sibisi says, includes developing an app which will help assess in finer detail an individual’s mental, physical and social activities. She says that they are also interacting with young people in the three countries to get their input on how to make the app as effective and as youth-friendly as possible.
This opportunity will help enrich my life and those around me because I am very passionate about youth development. The position helps me better understand issues around metal health and become a better advocate for the cause. I believe that the app we are currently developing has the potential to change young people’s lives around the world tremendously. Often when we are experiencing mental health issues, we are not aware that we are able to pin-point and address the cause of the issue with guided steps, that is what we intend the app to achieve.
Sibisi concludes “I am very grateful to be a part of the ACTIVATE! network which is so supportive in many ways. I believe that if one takes full advantage of the opportunities offered by ACTIVATE! then the possibilities are endless.”