Alex Youth Discuss Gender-Based Violence. 2/10/2017

Published by ALEXNEWS

Grassroots Soccer held a career day at Altrec Sports Complex for its Skillz Streets Programme volunteers to introduce them to possible careers they may follow after their contract ends next year.

Grassroots Soccer is an international adolescent health organisation that uses the power of soccer to educate, inspire and mobilise youth to overcome their challenges, live healthier and be agents for change in their communities. There are currently about 60 volunteers at Grassroots Soccer in Alex

“They [volunteers] are only here for two years, so we want to equip them with the skills and knowledge of the opportunities that are available to them,” site coordinator Nhlanhla Dube said.

Organisations such as the National Youth Development Agency, Boston Media House and the South African Tuberculosis Association were there to offer information to the volunteers.

The day ended in a dialogue between the volunteers and Grassroots about the link between gender-based violence and the high unemployment rate among young people.

Nokwazi Mokoena, programme facilitator at Grassroots said a lot of young people stayed in abusive relationships because of the financial security. “Many are of them fear losing the benefits they get out of those relationships,” she said.

Mokoena added that gender-based violence was not only inflicted on women but also men.

“They [men] also do fall victims of gender-based violence, but many choose not to report it because they fear being victimised and laughed at.

“Culture has taught us that as men, you have to be strong. It is considered taboo to speak about these things.”

Thabile Nene, one of the volunteers at Grassroots, said gender-based violence in her community was a common issue.

“It happens too often to the point where it almost becomes a norm,” she said. Nene added that the blesser/blessee trends contributed greatly to this violence. “Many blessers believe that they have power over blessees.”

Lentswe Ntshegang, another volunteer of Grassroots, advised young people to create their own job opportunities instead of waiting for employment.

“There are a lot of business opportunities out there, you don’t necessarily have to be employed by a company,” she said.

Ntshegang said such organisations such as the National Youth Development Agency offered financial back-up to emerging businesses.

“Do your research and decide what it is that you want your business to achieve, there are a lot of opportunities out there.”

Mock interviews were also conducted to prepare the volunteers for future interviews.

“They [volunteers] received feedback on what they did wrong during the mock interviews so that they know what to avoid during real interviews,” Dube said.