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SOUTH AFRICA: Youth gain job skills for fishing industry

Salesian Waves of Change program educates more than 200 youth in the fishing industry each year


(MissionNewswire) The Salesian Institute Youth Projects’ Waves of Change program, located in Cape Town, South Africa, provides education to at least 200 youth each year. Sea fishing is a large industry in South Africa, especially along the Western Cape coastline. The Cape Town harbor is close by the Salesian Institute providing the opportunity to train youth interested in fishing along with a steady labor force for the industry.

Requiring minimal levels of education, jobs in the fishing industry can provide a significant income and a stable career path. The program is currently training young adults between the ages of 18 and 35.

All 200 participants complete a 10-day life skills program. They then go on to complete safety and familiarization courses, obtain their medical certificates, and meet other requirements to become seafarers. Once all training and document requirements have been completed, youth can be legally employed by a reputable fishing company.

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.

Since 1910, the Salesian Institute Youth Projects has been helping homeless, unemployed and impoverished youth. 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 provides five main programs that help youth in the region. Programs include an outreach program, a hostel for homeless youth, a learn-to-live education program and two workforce development programs. The programs are managed by a diverse group of individuals, and some live on the premises to support youth in the hostel and outreach programs.

“Salesian Institute Youth Projects offers poor and at-risk youth the opportunity to gain an education in fields 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 courses offer high-quality employees to industries that are hiring while providing students meaningful employment.”

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.



Photo courtesy of Salesian Youth Institute Waves of Change

Salesian Youth Institute Waves of Change

Salesian Institute Youth Projects

Salesian Institute Youth Projects Facebook

Salesian Missions – South Africa

UNICEF – South Africa

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