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New youth centre planned for Diepsloot

The dream of Fr Louis Blondell – one of the missionaries of Africa who lived in Diepsloot and worked tirelessly with Fr Guido to get the Diepsloot church and community built – is about to come true, with plans well underway to build a Youth Centre in the grounds of the Catholic Church.

width=120The project will be run in conjunction with Da Vinci Seed, who will run their projects from the new facility on a rental basis, and facilitated by Dr Barbara Holtmann using the Social Transformation System (STS).

The volunteers of Bryanston Conference have been active in the area for a number of years - assisting families and Child Headed households with parcels of dry groceries and fresh vegetables, as well as applying for grants and Id documentation.  We worked closely with Father Louis and Father Guido, visiting the poor and assisting them with the vegetable garden in Ext 12.

Tragically, Fr Louis was shot dead in December 2009, while Fr Guido suffered a stroke. But the Bryanston conference of the Society of St Vincent de Paul refused to let the dream come to an end.

Funds still need to be raised, and we are applying to Lotto and the Department of Social Development to help fund the overheads. But everyone is very positive about this project that will help untold youth to get a start in the business world.  

What changes do we want to see in the community?
The first step in the realisation of this dream was to examine the changes that we wanted to see in the community. At present, students completing Grade 12 do not know how to apply for jobs or where to go for skills training. There is little energy or drive to get employed; young people seem content to live day-to-day and lack goals or aspirations. They have no hope.

The vision
Our vision is of a community where school leavers and unemployed youth are confident to apply for jobs and well prepared for interviews, with professional CVs. They will have the ability to set goals and make decisions about their future ... access the necessary skills training .. be full of drive and energy ... and will be able to earn a living, help their families, and encourage younger siblings to follow in their footsteps.

The centre will be a vibrant and integral part of the Diepsloot community providing the pupils and unemployed youth with career assessment and steering them in the direction of gainful employment – as well as providing a liaison point for businesses and job seekers to connect.

The Role of the Da Vinci Seed Organization
Da Vinci Seed will:

  • Interview and assess young people and “channel them into the right training programmes or add them to a database to allow employers to access potential employees
  • Take ideas for new business into a ’thinkubator’ – were we can brainstorm and turn little ideas into workable businesses
  • Put some small business into an ’incubator’ programme – where we help develop them through training and support services (such as using a shared computer centre)
  • Take other businesses and channel them into an ’accelerator’ programme focussed on growing the business
  • Put existing business through a ’renovator’ programme to ensure they offer good customer service and have a sound billing system.

If you would like to help turn unemployed school leavers into successful entrepreneurs, please support this exciting new project by making a donation now.


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