Upbeat Youth Project
After forging a successful career for himself as an entrepreneur and businessman, 31-year-old Amon returned to his hometown of Tweefontein in Mpumalanga in order to help other young people escape the cycle of poverty in which his community was trapped. He set up the ‘Upbeat Youth Centre’ which provides computer training as well as mentorship, support and life skills for young people struggling to find direction and work, especially in this rural community.
The Centre has already produced more than 200 computer graduates, 20 of whom are now employed. A further 300 people in the local community have benefitted from the workshops and job-training programmes held at the Centre.
The Upbeat youth Centre (UYC) is a non-profitable organization, which is registered as a section 21 company with the register of companies; registration number is 2011/011695/08 and is also registered as an non-profitable organization with the department of Social Development NPO-092-656.UYC was founded by Amon Maseko, Operating from Tweefontein, KwaMhlanga in Mpumalanga, one of underdeveloped areas in south Africa.
The desire to establish such an institution was fuelled by a need to support programmes with a particular focus on unemployed young people such as job search programmes, job creation programs, job placement services and training of unemployed youth in ICT.
South Africa has an acute problem of youth unemployment that requires a multi-pronged strategy to raise, employment and support inclusion and social cohesion. High youth unemployment means young people are not acquiring the skills or experience needed to drive the economy forward. This inhibits the country’s economic development and imposes a larger burden on the state to provide social assistance. It poses a special problem in South Africa where at least half of young school leavers are unlikely to find work before the 24. An estimated 826 000 youth arrive on the labour market each year, having completed grade 12 or having dropped out of education and is now seeking a job.
From its inception, UYC was always a youth driven initiative and believes that to unleash the poverty chain from underdeveloped communities, it is essential that effective programs are developed in rural areas so that young people have a reason to stay in their rural communities. This “reverse migration” concept will encourage young people to stay in the rural areas and create or participate in programs designed to create self-sustaining communities while avoiding the urban vices of overpopulation, unemployment, disease and crime,
Our programmes have always been shaped to provide work readiness programmes and to continuously assessing the needs of the youth in our area of operation. Our philosophy is based on the adage “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to catch a fish and he eats forever”.