The Future Of Our YouthsDate Released: Thu, 18 October 2012 09:05 +0200
Ever wonder as a parent or guardian what the future holds for the youth of today? It is every parents hope and dream to see that their child is well off but for some that fate is out of their control. This is mainly because they do not have the means to look after their children and give them the life they deserve. Community engagement refers to the process by which the community benefits from organizations and individuals; it creates permanent relationships for the purpose of applying a collective vision for the community. Most parents only have the community benefits to rely on to get their children on track. Most of this help comes from universities, societies, schools and companies around them so it is crucial that the skills being shared with their children help them grow.
The focus is mainly Rhodes University’s involvement with the youth. The Community Engagement Centre and the residences have various activities in place to help the children by keeping them active and out of trouble.
Victoria Mxenge House Community Engagement under Nica Cornell contributes to tending the Hall’s Vegetable Garden together with other Residences of the Hall. They have started growing over 15 types of vegetables. They also do collections for GADRA and take part in Give 5. Victoria Mxenge visits the Ikhaya Losizo Foster Home for two hours, where eight children live. There they are building up Hero Books with each child, which helps them in revisioning their past and future through simple activities such as a time line. These activities are adapted from the REPSSI resource of Hero Books. Through their community engagement they wish to expose the children to a range of people; trust-building, mental and emotional stimulation and an idea of a possible future that is not restricted by the past.
At the beginning of the year Rhodes Community Engagement Centre helped in hosting a fun day with a man named ‘X’ who works with children in the township. They bought drinks and sweets for the children and then entertained them. They have also helped Cynthia at Cynthia’s Soup Kitchen with making soup and dishing out. They also donated clothes to a jumble sale which was a huge success. In connection with SHARC COMMUNITY they organized to watch an HIV/AID’s related movie. It was very inspiring and it also brought out many issues that students have in terms of dealing with HIV/AIDS.
These kids come from backgrounds in which they were either neglected or abused. They have been removed from those situations and placed at the Foster Home as a safe house, but maintain contact with their families. They will remain there until they are 18. The kids respond well to the activities. Their engagement, confidence, focus and attention skills have improved. They recognize the Universities efforts and kindness and are more open with the students.
This is set to put the community at ease and reassure them that the youth of today indeed have a bright future. Through all this they learn to read, improve social skills, exposed to different activities and help them grow as an individual. According to Rhodes University Community Engagement Centre all residences and most societies take part in helping the children and will continue to do so for as long as they can.
Written by: Gamuchirai Chinamasa
This article was published on the Grocott’s Mail.