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WESSA inducts 133 NC youth into DEA YES programme

WESSA recently welcomed 133 Northern Cape youth into the Youth Environmental Services (YES) Northern Cape Programme. The initiative is funded by the Department of Environmental Affairs.
2018 Northern Cape DEA YES Programme participants from Keimoes at their induction in February.
2018 Northern Cape DEA YES Programme participants from Keimoes at their induction in February.
The learnership aims to expose unemployed and disadvantaged youth between the ages of 18 and 35 to mentored, work-integrated learning opportunities in the environmental and ecotourism sectors. Additional components of this programme are the provision of accredited environmental practices skills courses, training in life skills and participation in community service.

The two days per month of community service, which each participant will be delivering within an environmental sector in their local community, are a key component of the programme. This community service is set to capacitate schools, old age homes, animal shelters, disabled care centres, urban parks and youth clubs.

The work experience and training received by youth participating in the one-year programme will cover both practical and theoretical aspects, and will expose the youth to hands-on examples of sustainable living. Nicholaas Sigamu, a WESSA programme coordinator based in Keimoes, says: “The YES Programme will give the youth much to learn about in protecting their local environments, and will develop their professional skills and abilities to be able to do so.”

Training has begun

The learners have already started on their professional development training. This week will see them receive accredited training in first aid and in occupational health and safety, which will prepare them for starting at their workplaces next week. Warrenton participant Adorable Faniso said of her induction: “This training has taught me how to handle environmental issues that affect our daily lives, by networking with different people who can help us address them.”

The youth on the YES Northern Cape Programme live in Kimberley, Barkly West, Warrenton, De Aar and the area between Keimoes and Augrabies, and most of them are being hosted by the Dikgatlong, Emthanjeni, Kai! Garib and Magareng municipalities, where they will participate in various activities, such as environmental education, waste monitoring, urban rejuvenation, recycling and food garden projects. Others will be hosted at various environmental NGOs and at game reserves.

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