“Suddenly they had the common vision to improve the lives of other communities members and gradually, they also started to get along with each other. It is needless to say that this positive development has significantly improved the safety as well as the general living conditions in this area.”
Khulisa has been active in various communities for many years and build strong partnerships. We knew in which organizations the volunteers will have the biggest impact.
The coordinators of the NYDA Volunteer Programme in many rural areas have noted that the programme did not only have a substantial effect on the volunteers but also changed the whole community. In one area, the coordinator reported that the volunteers, who are members of two separate gangs, started the programme with high levels of animosity and resentment towards each other. Within 10 days however, their membership within the programme began taking precedence over their membership in the gangs. It is nearly impossible to believe that they started to work together to improve the lives of other communities members and gradually they also started to get along with each other. It is needless to say that this positive development has significantly improved the safety as well as the general living conditions in this area. Khulisa has promoted a systemic approach towards community development for a long time, emphasizing the fact that we can not only focus on a small problem but we need to uplift the life of community members in general, especially the youth. If we support young people to find work or be meaningful to others, their life changes and they become responsible role models rather than criminals. This programme proofs that our approach is very promising and can successfully by implemented in various different communities!
This incredible story is not an isolated incident as many similar stories have been reported to the Khulisa Head Office on a daily basis.
Khulisa has established the Youth Development Programme with the support of the National Youth Development Agency in several areas around South Africa. Through the participation in the programme, all volunteers can improve their skills and their work in various projects has a huge impact on their community.
Khulisa is a very professional partner and we have experiences huge successes with the NYDA youth development programme. Apart from that, our approach is unique through the inclusion of our best-practice programmes that ensure the personal development of the volunteers.
The strength of the programme is that it has an incredible impact on the volunteers who are more likely to find a job after the programme and it also uplifts the community through the work of the volunteers for various projects and organisations.
Firstly, the programme aims at supporting young people who have just graduated from high school and struggle with a lack of skills, unemployment and consequently enter the vicious circle of poverty. When the volunteers enter this project, their economic situation improves immediately as they are paid a small stipend and can maintain themselves or their family. In communities that are severely affected by a lack of resources this is already a major contribution towards poverty alleviation.
Apart from that, the programme focuses on skills development and job readiness. Khulisa has co-operated with strong partners to offer a wide range of workshops focusing on capacity building, language development, literacy training, etc. The uniqueness of Khulisa as an implementation partner for the NYDA also lies in the fact that we help the volunteers to grow on a personal level by including our best-practice programmes. This ensures a holistic approach to personal development and we were satisfied to see that the volunteers show a sustainable behavioural change. Volunteers who successfully complete the programme are more likely to find employment or start their own business.
Secondly, a huge number of people within a community benefits from the work of the volunteers and it is incredibly to observe how the NYDA volunteer programme can change a whole environment. The volunteers are placed with public institutions, NPOs, the private sector and other organization and mainly work in the field of community development.
Many volunteers work in the field of social development: They assist teachers in schools, improve the service delivery in hospitals, offer the so much needed hands in under-resourced institutions, such as homes for the elderly or disabled, create awareness about HIV / AIDS or substance abuse or can pass on their newly acquired skills to help other community members to find employment.
They are also engaged in various youth project that are incredibly important to make sure that young people use their free-time wisely and effectively and don’t put themselves at risk. Volunteers of the NYDA programme run community libraries, become successful sports teachers, pass on their skills in arts and craft or even lead a choir. It is obvious that such positive interactions with children and teenagers also help them to become good role models within their community. The volunteers also take up very important duties within a community that are often neglected if people struggle to find employment or a little bit of money to feed their children: They start vegetable gardens or improve the infrastructure by building pavements and clearing dumping sites.