Who we are
The Siyazana Youth Development Fund is a registered NPO and was established after its founder and board met with various adolescents who were born HIV positive and consulted them around the biggest issues that they still face today (This meeting was held in conjunction with The Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation inGugulethu).
A common thread that was the high unemployment rate between them but more concerning was the low level of skills and the high level of adolescents who did not have a matric certificate due to them suffering from cognitive development issues as a direct result of them not receiving ARV’s at an early stage of their development (ARV’s only become available to the public in 2004). The Siyazana Youth Development Fund was then established.
Where we are different to many organisations who do similar work to us is that we guarantee employment to our successful beneficiaries after they have successfully completed their skills development training. This training is accredited and is fully funded by SYDF or one of its corporate partners with no financial implication to the beneficiary.
Caregivers of these adolescent children are often marginalised, disempowered and not in a financial position to send them to skills training centres. Community-based Adolescent Centres focusing on health and lifestyle skills are often difficult to access or non-existent. We understand that youth unemployment is at its highest rate ever and the social economic affects linked to this have severely negative influences on affected children’s lives. We believe by creating an opportunity to train and supply work to these vulnerable children, where we can all play a role, is a responsibility and with your help we can change the cycle of poverty.
Our beneficiaries come from previously disadvantaged communities with over 95% being black.
Siyazana identifies the beneficiaries in urgent need of help from its pool of adolescents currently in various programs in the Western and Eastern Cape. These adolescents will come from areas such as Gugulethu, Ikhwezi and Mitchells Plain. All of the beneficiaries will not have a grade 12 certificate and will be unemployed but have the potential to develop new skills to create employment opportunities. Siyazana will also offer counseling, psychology and occupational therapy to adolescents who need guidance before entering the program.
We will then link each participant with a mentor from a pool of pre-selected mentors who will then assist us in creating an employment opportunity for the beneficiary within the chosen training industry (mentors will come from the chosen industry). The mentor will part fund the training course and will play an important personal role in the beneficiary’s life.
The outcome of the program is to assist all beneficiaries in becoming productive and economically self-sustainable members of society.