SOUTH AFRICA: Waves of Change initiative helps provide stable jobs in fishing industry
Salesian Institute Youth Projects’ Waves of Change educates 200 at-risk youth to prepare them for work in the commercial fishing industry
(MissionNewswire) Since 1910, the Salesian Institute Youth Projects in Cape Town, the second most populous city and legislative capital of South Africa, has been helping homeless, unemployed and impoverished youth. Through the Institute’s Youth Projects program, Salesian missionaries provide shelter, education and workforce development services in an effort to meet the basic needs of the youth they serve while helping them break the cycle of poverty.
The Salesian Institute Youth Projects’ Waves of Change has been assisting unemployed youth and young adults in finding work in the fishing industry. Requiring minimal levels of education, jobs in the fishing industry can provide a significant income, a stable career path and extensive travel opportunities. The project is currently training 200 at-risk youth and young adults between the ages of 18 and 35.
“The fishing industry offers poor and at-risk youth the opportunity to gain an education in a field they might not otherwise have access to,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “The Waves of Change project is able to offer high-quality employees to the fishing industry while providing its students meaningful employment.”
The Waves of Change project also offers a compulsory five-day life skills course. Students who successfully complete the course are awarded financial assistance toward obtaining the required certification for work in the fishing industry through the South African Maritime Safety Authority.
Salesian missionaries who oversee the project have been able to establish partnerships with training providers such as STC Table Bay, the Academy of Maritime Medicine and Pulse College, all of which offer free training and assistance to Salesian students. In addition, missionaries have continued to nurture long-standing partnerships with Sea Harvest, Premier Fishing, the Oceana Group and others that hire graduates of the project.
The Salesian Institute Youth Projects provides five main projects that help youth in the region. There is an outreach program, a hostel for homeless youth, a learn-to-live education program and two workforce development programs. The projects are managed by a diverse group of individuals, some of whom live on the premises to support youth in the hostel and outreach programs.
Poverty is extensive in South Africa with more than half the population and more than 63 percent of children living below the poverty line, according to UNICEF. A significant percentage of the population struggles to survive on less than $1 a day. The country is plagued by high crime rates and violence against women and girls and has been the hardest hit by the HIV/AIDS crisis in the world. There is an urgent need for education to help prevent the spread of the deadly virus and to help lift youth out of poverty.
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Salesian Missions – South Africa
UNICEF – South Africa