PICS: KZN MEC unveils Wentworth Youth Development Centre
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Durban - Wentworth's youth have been given a new lease on life and will be able to learn new skills to help them live better lives.
On Tuesday, KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Social Development Nonhlanhla Khoza, officially handed over the Wentworth Youth Development Centre.
The centre is based in the Bluff area, and it services Ward 66 and 68. It was constructed as a response to the social ills and challenges facing the community of Wentworth and surrounding areas.
"The centre provides vocational skills training, life-skills sessions, sports, recreation, cultural activities, access to information through resource centres and a safe space for the youth to network," Khoza said.
"The main driver of most social ills is drug abuse. As a society, we need to join hands and fight drug abuse together. The construction of the Wentworth Youth Development Centre will ease the burden of drugs and substance abuse in the community, which then opens doors to all social ills," said MEC Khoza.
The centre came about as a result of a community initiative led by the late Pastor Victor Smith since his church was affected by drug lords.
The centre coming to fruition means the realisation of the dream of Pastor Smith and that of the community of Wentworth.
The centre provides vocational skills training, life-skills sessions, sports, recreation, cultural activities, access to information through resource centres and a safe space for the youth to network.
The department has forged a partnership with eThekwini Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College, which provides skills development programmes.
Vocational skills are acquired through a six-month programme (two weeks of life skills, two weeks entrepreneurship, two weeks computer lab training and three months of trade training such as assistant chef, electrical training phase two and garment making).
The Department invested over R47 million towards the construction of the Wentworth Youth Development Centre.
MEC Khoza commended young people for taking a keen interest in community development.
"This centre has a responsibility of improving the livelihoods of youth through provisioning of youth empowering services such as vocational skills training, life skills sessions, sports, recreation, cultural activities, access of information through resource centres and a safe place for youth and other stakeholders to network.
"We are pleased with the work done by the NPO led by young people in the area of Wentworth, which is eThekwini South Youth in Business that operate within the community and run the programmes at the centre," said MEC Khoza.
Led by their matriarch, the Smith family was also present to witness the opening of the centre. MEC Khoza reaffirmed the government's commitment to change the lives of the poor.
The ceremony, which was part of Social Development Month, was an important milestone for the community of Wentworth, as the Wentworth Youth Development Centre will provide necessary skills for young people who live in the area.