Aim and Purpose:
We have two programmes of life skills for youth justice in Prison and High schools. In prison we aim to provide positive motivation for the inmates, and a life-skills toolkit for positive living. The work of the YMCA is highly respected, and we were given an award from the Department of Correctional Services for the impact we are making in the lives of offenders. Our duty is to empower young people for life, leadership and service because from the youth will come our future leaders for tomorrow.
We do our work in 3 sections at Westville prison which is Medium E (females), Medium D (Juvenile Centre – males) and Medium C (adult males). Education, Skills, Empowerment are the three biggest areas of focus. The offenders are more likely to be positive members of the community if they feel good about themselves. There have been improvements in the lives of participants who have completed LEVEL 1 CURRICULUM in and out of prison. LEVEL 2 provides youth and adults with further opportunities to gain more skills and knowledge. We motivate and inspire youth to do more in life and regain HOPE for a positive future.
We cover Rights, Vision & Purpose, Healing of Memories, Relationships, Stress and Trauma, Conflict such as Domestic Violence, Advocacy and Democracy, Human Relationships, Decision Making, True Love Waits, Economic and Environmental Justice, Identity, Communication and Public speaking, African Renaissance, Volunteerism, Job Preparation, Financial Issues & Budget, Lobbing and Advocacy.
COACHING/EMPOWERING OUR COMMUNITY TO FACE THE REAL LIFE
To equip youth and adults with skills they need to succeed in the communities.
To help our communities to find and maintain successful employment also change their negative mind set, improve self esteem and self confidence
To empower youth and adults to want to achieve more in life and willing to work together with other people.
This program reduce recidivism rates (reduce rate of youth who are going back into the same system or youth and adults who reoffend)
One person came out of the prison then joined the YMCA to do Computer skills, and Y-Arts. 15 months later he is a volunteer at YMCA doing a great job in motivating others. Others have opened small businesses in order to survive, going back to their families in order to start afresh. One of the guys who had spent time in prison since he was 12 years of age, had his life changed while in prison. He has been married for 4 years now, with two kids, has a drivers license, is a facilitator at Kwa Mashu High schools . He is a HIV/AIDS counsellor now, running the Youth Justice Programme. He always said prison was like home to him. He had spent 19 years in and out of different prisons.
HIGH SCHOOLS LIFE SKILLS PROGRAMME:
PURPOSE OF SCHOOLS PROGRAM
Our main purpose as YMCA to work with schools to help our young leaders to achieve their goals and have a better future in life. Many bad practices start at school where some lose focus during puberty e.g. start smoking, doing drugs, house breaking, become sexual active, give in to peer pressure. We empower for life, leadership and service by coaching these young people to face real life.
UMLAZI HIGH SCHOOLS:
We work with Shumayela High School, Mbelebele High School.
KWA MASHU HIGH SCHOOLS:
Mzuvele High School, Kwesethu High School.
OUTCOME OF HIGH SCHOOL LIFE SKILLS
Students appreciate our program. Topics that we cover include Debates, Traditional Dance, helping with studies doing homework, assignments, playing games and S.C.M (Student Christian Movement).The students enjoy being with us because everyone is free to ask any question which opens discussion. Some of them have been in prison and now they doing good things like going back to school. Some topics covered are: How the students present themselves at school, why dress code is so important, worldview, drug abuse, vision for the future, types of relationships especially with Teachers, learners, parents, God, romantic relationships etc.
TEACHERS also give us chance to do our programme because children learn a lot .they understand that there are so many people who groom a child teacher, parents and community. Schools come in numbers invite us to do our programme in their schools why? Because of number of people that pass in their schools some get respect back.
Parents and teachers thank us for the good that we are doing in their children’s lives.
AS YMCA WE BELIEVE THAT EVERY ONE HAS POTENTIAL TO BE GREATER AS GOD SAYS WE ARE HERE FOR A PURPOSE.