gold Youth Development Agency (gold-youth) is intentional in addressing the significant youth unemployment crisis facing Southern Africa. Once gold Facilitator Interns and gold Peer Educators graduate from the programme (after three or more years depending on the school system they were a part of), these beneficiaries are formally engaged in a structured and dynamic gold Grads (alumni) network. This gold Grads network strengthensgold’s long-term sustainability and impact and adds value to the gold Grads themselves through the development of skills and leadership and by connecting them to post school opportunities.
gold-youth provides gold Grads with a platform for collaborative engagement with each other, as well as with demand side / industry partners to better enable their access to workplace and further education and training opportunities. The gold Grads programme enhances the role of gold Grads as a collective of resourceful citizens and nation builders who pay it forward. gold-youth holds regular networking events with our gold Grads, where gold Grads are able to connect with and inspire each other, learn from each other and hold one another accountable to living out the gold “DNA”. It is also an opportunity for gold Grads to meet and engage with industry and thought-leaders.
On Saturday 7 October a gold Grads networking event was held in Kraaifontein in the Western Cape, attended by gold Grads as well as some gold Lead Peer Educators who are about to graduate from high school. gold Grads were inspired and motivated to continue to engage with gold-youth and were informed about future economic opportunities in the food system. (The food system refers to all the activities involved in growing, processing, transporting and consuming food. It includes businesses such as farms, processing hubs, packing companies, transportation companies, restaurants and supermarkets.) There are many opportunities for careers in the food system and it is an area that will continue to grow. gold-youth’s social enterprise has established a specific division called gold Talent with the main purpose of placing gold Grads in demand led jobs, entrepreneurial ventures and tertiary courses. The gold Talent team will be working with a number of food system companies to provide gold Grads with internships and job opportunities in the coming year. gold Grads also participated in a workshop on “Maintaining My Core Values After School”, a session that looks at reminding them to keep focussed on their goals and to hold onto their core values after school, a time where they are faced with many new choices and challenges and where school friends and fellow gold Peer Educators might no longer be available for accountability and counsel. They also had an opportunity to hear from a fellow gold Grad who has recently been placed in a job who shared from experience about what it takes to keep being the change you want to see despite the tough realities of that first job.
gold-youth is committed to continuing to play a pivotal role in developing these young people as emerging leaders with tangible skills and character who contribute to positive changes in their communities and society at large.