In response to the lack of opportunity and difficult conditions in the Matatiele area, youth in ASAP supported communities have the opportunity to access a brighter future through ASAP’s thorough, holistic intervention to address the various challenges in their communities, including the youth development program which focuses on laying a foundation to enable youth to increase their prospects.
ASAP ‘s youth development program was developed on the ground, with the participation from youth and other stakeholders in the beneficiary communities and is executed with involvement of the youth’s parents and/or caregivers. Over a three-year cycle, each youth benefits from
- personal development training,
- career guidance,
- assistance with applications for tertiary education placement and bursaries,
- creation of a portfolio of evidence and
- participation in running campaigns in their communities, eg HIV awareness and recycling.
During workshops, special attention is given to themes like teenage pregnancy, strategic gender analysis, heritage, decision making, unhealthy relationships, human trafficking and rights and responsibilities. These are covered in depth and revisited over the three-year cycle.
Year one’s focus is on self-knowledge, developing individual portfolios and co-generating the themes, with the youth from each participating village, that is both relevant to their reality and culturally congruent and that will be the core themes over three years. During year two, the focus shifts to leadership on personal and societal levels, networking with youth groups from other villages and development of the community campaigns by the youth. Year three builds on the previous years, with participants from each village supported to co-facilitate workshops and events in their villages. Career guidance workshops take place every year, and youth are encouraged and supported to use the ASAP field office’s computers and internet to access information and submit applications.
ASAP believes that these young people will be able to nurture their continuous personal development and investment with the resources available to them, accessing tertiary educational opportunities and brighter futures.