Day 5 – Noncedo edu-centre, Villiersdorp
The town of Villiersdorp, or the “pearl” of the Overberg as its affectionately known, is located outside Caledon. Established as an agricultural town, its residents are predominantly seasonal farm labourers and are often without work for almost half of the year. Historically, the community lives in poverty and was severely under resourced; until recently when the organisation, Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading (VPUU) identified Nuwedorp, a rural settlement in Villiersdorp, as an area in dire need of assistance, particularly for its youth.
VPUU is an area-based community development programme that aims at safe and integrated communities, citizenship, pride and the improvement of quality of life for the residents in local neighbourhoods through a comprehensive range of urban improvements and social interventions. VPUU began as a partnership between the City of Cape Town, the German Development Bank (KfW). In April 2013, VPUU NPC was established to implement VPUU throughout the Western Cape.
Heart FM identified the Noncedo edu-centre as an organisation doing great work in the community and as part of the 16 Days for Youth initiative, to assist by making some improvements to the facility and providing a hot meal for the community.
Just down the road, there is a newly built Resource Centre – the pride of the community. Created by the VPUU in partnership with the local municipality. This has become a hub for skills development and training. Managed by Jenny Mckenzi, she explains what the biggest challenges the youth in her community are faced with.
Unemployment, drugs and school drop-outs are very prevalent in this community and the Youth Café, housed inside the resource centre, is a skills facility offering a variety of programs and courses to enable the youth to become assets in society. Life skills are taught through mentorship programs, therapy sessions for the disabled, after-care facilities and computer literacy, to name a few.
The Noncedo edu-centre is an extension of the Resource Centre, looking after pre-school children in the area. It also offers a toy library which lends out its educational toys and books to Early Childhood Development centres (ECD’s) in the area. It depends largely on donations and volunteers.
For more information about the initiative, go to http://16daysforyouth.com/
Follow the journey on social media @heart104.9fm or @16DaysForYouth