Aiding disadvantaged youth with gaps in their education in becoming entrepreneurs, is one solution community leader, Alinah Mazibuko, is implementing to give young people a start in life and create jobs in her small Free State town.
Many young people in poverty-torn communities miss school for a variety of reasons – from having to work in the home to care for younger siblings, working to support the family, or caring for a sick relative.
Mazibuko explains: “Many people living in Warden, in the Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality, are suffering extreme poverty, where they battle to meet basic needs such as shelter, education, healthcare and food. Children from these poorer families find it a big challenge to excel at school, as they often have to drop out for various reasons as their families need them.
“For example, many girls stop going to school in order to take care of a sick parent at home; or boys do some work to support the family. By the time such a child is free to go back to school, it is no longer possible to continue with regular schooling.”
Mazibuko believes the only option for these young people is to become entrepreneurs and do vocational skills training, as a midway solution between school and work. “However, the cost of entrepreneurial and vocational skills training is still beyond the means of many poor families.”
Mazibuko was inspired to get involved in uplifting her community by ACTIVATE! Change Drivers, South Africa’s leading youth NGO which empowers and trains young people in leadership; and encourages them to start initiatives to contribute to the upliftment of their communities. To date, 4,500 South African youth have gone through its programmes.
After observing the need in her community, Mazibuko launched the Alinah Mazibuko Foundation NPC, and works with local partners such as Girls2Women, the Osizweni Academy, and the Dirasentle Youth Club, to help develop skills in entrepreneurship and resilience to enable young people to acquire the essential skills in starting their own businesses, as well as the mental strength to do so.
She started by supplying the basics – such as school shoes and food from a soup kitchen during the school holidays and food parcels for the community around the Phumelela Municipality, Free State.
Her main goal is to create jobs for the youth; and she has hosted events to inspire and help provide the necessary skills to start cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset among the youth in her community. She is also working with local entrepreneurs and partners to assist with Wi-Fi sponsorships, computer equipment, office furniture and educational material.
Name: Alinah Mazibuko, 31, Free State, Warden, Ezenzeleni
Social Media – Facebook: Alinah Mazibuko
Contact details: 062 260 2401 / email@example.com