People living in South Africa’s rural areas face various challenges when it comes to employment. A lack of skills development and appropriate education, a slowing economy, poor infrastructure, and a growing population make finding a job a daunting task. And, with South Africa’s youth unemployment rate rising to an all time high of 74.7%, as announced by StatsSA it’s only natural for those who are unemployed to worry about what the future holds for them during these uncertain times.
“The youth unemployment rate of those staying in South Africa’s rural areas is extremely high – and this is something we as individuals and organisations need to work towards changing together,” says Pindelwa Mda, Founder and Director of R_Ignite NPC.
Founded in 2021, R_Ignite NPC is a Non-Profit Organisation that is led by a collective of thought leaders who are striving to provide a programme for skills development and training for youth in the Eastern Cape’s rural areas. Their mission is to bridge the gap between rural and urban children by providing support and guidance to the youth in order to give them a chance to hone their skills— both professionally and personally.
R_Ignite NPC plans to implement their programme through these focus areas:
Creating an environment that fosters good teaching and learning for those staying in rural areas. R_Ignite has adopted Viedgesville Primary School, located in the Eastern Cape. Their goal is to source funding for the school in order to build better facilities that will lay a foundation for the children staying in the Viedgesville community.
Helping the youth find their purpose through workshops that will help them make informed decisions regarding their future. These workshops would also be beneficial for graduates who are currently unemployed and are struggling to find work – helping alleviate the worrying numbers of discouraged work-seekers.
Empower the youth with improved skills that would help them find suitable jobs. R_Ignite plans to create a platform which supports the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises as well as trainees for the formal sector.
In addition to the work done with the Viedgesville Primary School, R_Ignite has also partnered with The School of Architecture at the Nelson Mandela University where 2nd year students were given the opportunity to participate in a design competition which would allow them to conceptualise and design the building models of the new school as part of their course work. Of the eight groups that participated, five designs were shortlisted as the finalists in the competition. These students will be given the chance to showcase their designs at the Viedgesville Primary School on the 7th of December, where the winning design will be selected by the governing body and community members.
“It is truly a privilege for me to have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those in rural communities. Through the work done by R_Ignite, we’re aiming to do collaborative work with children, young people, their parents, the public, leaders, and educators to develop restorative and sustainable ways of rebuilding lives one community at a time,” Mda concludes.
New-found purpose can show up in people’s lives in many ways and, more times than not, the opportunities to do more are much closer than we think. To see how you can play your part, visit the R_Ignite website for more information. https://r-ignite.org/