Going the extra mile for empowerment of our youth
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Cape Town - The empowerment of the youth is of utmost importance to the Restitution Youth Development Programme.
Its latest initiative will see the development of a programme to help mitigate the lack of reading and writing skills of children from this community, with the launch of the Zoopark Hot-Spot Library in Scottsdene next week.
Founder, director and visionary of the organisation and the hot-spot library initiative, Terence Crowster, said: "I do a lot of programmes at schools, from prefect training to anti-bullying sessions, which requires pupils to read and speak. I found out that many children cannot read or write properly, including pupils between Grade 8 and Grade 12.”
Not only did they turn a broken container into the Zoopark Hot-Spot Library, but also converted an old, depleted school into a library in Kraaifontein, two months ago.
“We created a library, an early childhood development and an after-school programme. We also have a mobile bookshelf-on-wheels, which we will launch on November 6 in Stellenbosch. This is a library on wheels with interactive doors to connect with young people in any space,” he said.
The Restoration Youth Development Programme offers camps, capacity workshops, awareness projects, facilitation, leadership training and mentorship programmes.
They also assist young people who struggle to read, and who also feel trapped in the negative influences faced on a daily basis.
“We have been a registered and sustainable project in the Kraaifontein community for the past 18 years. Our focus is the development, upliftment and restoration of our community and youth through the continuous running of our projects. This place has been designed to give hope and make a difference to the community,” Crowster said.
“We have experienced that there is a huge communication gap between the parent and child/teacher and pupil, and we want to fill the gap by working with both the child and parent/teacher. We want to create a secure, accepting and understanding environment for the youth to express themselves, and provide them with insights to better communication,” he added.
A community member, Nicholine Botha, said: “This is a great idea because so many of our children can’t read or write. Libraries are important because they are places where you can learn, and doors can open for you.”