Unemployed young people from different youth groups and sports clubs in Noupoort recently participated in an Inclusive Neighbourhood Spaces Programme, aimed at creating cohesion to bring about local community change. The focus was to identify what socio-economic problems exist in the Noupoort, transform the mind-set and value system of the participants and equip volunteers resulting in spreading the model throughout Noupoort.
This voluntary programme addresses issues of ignorance, substance abuse, inequality, racism, irresponsive governance, sectionalism, amongst others.
The participants mapped out key community resource services, essential organisations and businesses in their community, thereby identifying places within the community where violence and abuse usually take place. They further identified a need for more community resources that would improve the safety and well-being of children and youth.
The training provides skills such as communication, accountability, leadership, project planning, community mobilization, active citizenship, budgeting, peace and conflict resolution skills.
“The young people, who have graduated as Inclusive Neighbourhood Spaces volunteers, are now better equipped to take on basic community problems and begin solving them, making use of newly acquired skills, to bring about personal development, community impact and active citizenship,” explained Livhuwani Nwachukwu, Economic Development Manager for Noupoort Wind Farm, the sponsor of this programme.
This training has also helped participants understand the concept of active citizenship. They learnt about sustainable development goals and how to link them to their obligated weekly and monthly deliverables as trained Inclusive Neighbourhood Spaces volunteers. Within the course of the training, participants could suggest active citizenship day activities, community action day activities, global and national citizenship day activities which they would carry out after the training.
“The Inclusive Neighbourhood Spaces model will fit perfectly with the early childhood development programme I am currently studying. As a teacher, I can say with confidence that this model is what Noupoort needs to get people back to school and for them to stay in school. I also see parents joining and Noupoort becoming one big successful space. This training has been wonderful for me”, said Jessica Alfreds, a programme participant from Noupoort.