On Friday 1st October 2021, 19 young people from Robertson and surrounding areas in the Western Cape graduated from the Youth Development Programme’s Siyazenzela course.
The course, kindly supported by our partners at the Graham and Rhona Beck Development Trust, provided the students with emotional and social wellness support, occupational and financial skills training and environmental conservation education. Through the training, the young people gain critical job readiness skills and vocational experience as well as developing a deeper understanding of themselves and their unique abilities.
The course featured several special guests, including Megan Williams and Petro van Heerden from the Robertson Department of Health who delivered a lecture on COVID-19 and the importance of being vaccinated, as well as Umzi Wethu graduates who were previously sponsored by the Graham and Rhona Beck Development Trust and are currently completing their internships at Bontebok National Park with SANParks.
The highlight of the graduation ceremony was the announcement that three exceptional students would be sponsored to attend a 10-week training course at Ulovane Environmental Training at Amakhala Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape, which will further equip them with the skills necessary to pursue careers in conservation. Wilderness Foundation Africa wishes Zamile Kwelakwela, Shanique Nash-Lee Swanepoel and Sonwabise Ndindwa all the best for the next few months which will no doubt prove challenging but rewarding and transformative.
We are thankful that the Graham and Rhona Beck Development Trust continues to uplift vulnerable young people in the Western Cape through the courses of the Youth Development Programme, and look forward to seeing the continued growth of the students following on from Siyazenzela.