Local news

A programme reaching out for the youth

Community organisation Start the Conversation hopes to impact the youth in a positive way.

This year’s June 16 marked the 37th anniversary where thousands of brave youth took to the streets of Soweto to march against an unconstitutional law that affected how they would receive their education.

In 1975, protests started in African schools after a directive from the then Bantu Education Department that Afrikaans had to be used on an equal basis with English as a language of instruction in secondary schools. The issue, however, was not so much the Afrikaans as the whole system of Bantu education which was characterised by separate schools and universities, poor facilities, overcrowded classrooms and poorly trained teachers.

On 16 June 1976, more than 20 000 learners from Soweto began a protest march. In the wake of clashes with the police, and the violence that ensued during the next few weeks, this resulted in 700 people, many of them youths, killed and property destroyed. The incident made a significant impact on the history of South Africa. It also emphasised how important it was for young people to take a stand and how important it is for the youth to engage with society. This in turn is why some organisations are doing all they can in uplifting their voices and ensuring that they are heard.

Childern at Boys Town during the sport day.

On 15 June, the organisation Start the Conversation (STC) held a programme at Boys and Girls Town Kagiso where they launched their digital learning programme and had a variety of activities taking place for the youth. The organisation was founded by Gavin Borrageiror who also serves as the executive chairperson. The main objectives of the organisation are to broaden the minds of young people, teach them financial literacy and ensure they become economically savvy as they get older.

“We have many financial literacy and consumer education programmes such as the Izaka programme. We offer financial literacy training and consumer education at no charge to the public or consumers. The themes and topics we present and discuss are based on the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) consumer financial education content bank called the FSCA’s MyMoney Learning Series (FSCA MMLS). The STC has received permission to use the FSCA’s MMLS in its donor-funded financial education activities,” Gavin said.

In addition to their educational programmes, they also offer community initiatives such as The Orange Bank. In this programme, they stand for social justice for the girls and women in society. The organisation believes that investing in girls’ education transforms communities, countries and the entire world. They will start giving sanitary towels to young girls in schools this year.

To reduce unemployment, they are also going to equip, inform and sponsor local communities with the equipment they need to produce their own washable pad. They also have the Orange Bank where young people are learning to save not just an essential money habit, but also teaching them discipline and delayed gratification.

“We will start training primary school learners about savings. An STC orange piggy bank which they will use to save money will be given to them, then later in the year they will have to figure out how much they were able to save,” Gavin said.

There were over 100 young people who were at the event, enjoying the sports day and getting a wealth of knowledge that will benefit them in the future.

Back to top button