Team building

In any training course, before going deeper into the activities, it is relevant to build a strong team, which would successfully move towards the achievement of the goals set. Thus, the second training of the “Second Chance” project started with activities and games aimed at getting to know each other better, increasing trust and collaboration, and boost motivation. Thanks to such teambuilding, participants recognized each other’s strengths and weaknesses, allowing them to strategize the upcoming steps. After a productive day, the team was given a short sightseeing tour around the administrative capital of South Africa – Pretoria.

Visiting Olieven Development Association

Olieven Development Association is a skills centre that caters for community of about 86000 people staying in Olievenhoutbosch, close to Johannesburg. Located in the poor area, the organisation offers career advice, skills training and business start up for youth coming from extremely disadvantaged backgrounds. Participants of the training course went to meet this non-governmental organisation and youth at risk who attend the activities organised there. Group session was held which allowed both parties, youngsters and participants of the training course, to interact and exchange experiences. Beneficiaries had many questions for youth workers coming from three other continents. The afternoon was finished up by Vietnamese cultural performances and interactive games, which engaged the youngsters and gave them a glimpse into a totally different, so far unseen and unheard culture.

Engaging in activities together with vulnerable youth

The training course took place in September – the month of Heritage Festival in South Africa. Naturally, that was also reflected in local youth work activities. While in Diepsloot disadvantaged township, participants had a chance to meet youth at risk and see their singing and dancing performances that they have been preparing for months as their after-class activity. The youngsters were so happy to be supported by the multicultural audience consisting of youth workers from Vietnam, Lithuania and Peru, countries that they did not know before. Since such performances are the only way of expression for most of them, having such approval was impactful and motivated these youngsters even more to keep engaging in artistic (rather than illegal) activities.

Visiting Bosasa Mogale Leseding Child & Youth Care Centre

The team of the training course went to visit Bosasa Mogale Leseding Child & Youth Care Centre, located in the outskirts of Johannesburg. The visit was divided into two parts. The first half of the visit included the joint sessions of Centre’s staff and participants, where they were exchanging good practices and experiences. The second part of the visit focused on direct interaction with the Centre’s beneficiaries. The day was finished with the Peruvian cultural performances and quizzes (led by the Peruvian participants) that actively engaged all the youngsters and participants from other countries.

Learning from Southern Africa Youth Project

The hosting organisation of this training course, Southern Africa Youth Project, has extremely profound experience in empowering youth at risk, as well as former offenders. With this in mind, participants were invited to visit the headquarters of the hosting organisation and observe their work. Participating youth workers could witness a number of meaningful activities implemented by the organisation, and like in other visited NGOs – engage in joint activities together with beneficiaries. After spending a half day there, participants were given a tour around Diepsloot by the staff of the hosting organisation. That was a truly unique experience: the township shocked everyone with extremely poor living conditions. At the same time, every participant was surprised by how welcoming and friendly are people residing there. After this tour, the team generated some ideas that could be implemented there and started to work on them the next day.

Creating tools to help (ex-)offenders

After brainstorming all together, participants came up with the idea that young (ex-)offenders from poor Diepsloot township could be empowered through local community tours. They would be impacted directly and indirectly: 1) young ex-offenders/youth at risk (who would be taught to lead these tours) would have a meaningful way to spend their time & would be able to generate some income; 2) As the attendees of this community tour would also have a chance to get to know our partner, Southern Africa Youth Project, organisation,  they would learn more about their initiatives related to young (ex-)offenders (and could possibly contribute to them). More visitors coming to the disadvantaged township would also automatically bring money to this poor neighbourhood and, accordingly, step by step contribute to its development. With this in mind, a tool was created by participants themselves (after distribution of tasks according to each participant’s profile & skills). After the training course, will be further managed by our project partner organisation Southern Africa Youth Project and developed by job shadower.

Cultural visit – Soweto

Soweto is a city that was developed as a township for black people under the apartheid system. Now it is one of the most-visited tourist destinations in South Africa. Participants of the training were also given a tour there to learn more about the interesting history of this township. Indeed, Orlando Towers and Nelson Mandela House were not missed to visit either.

Promotional video of Diepconnecto Community Tour (to be organized with a help of young ex-offenders)
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