PACSA is the Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action | www.pacsa.org.za
Written by Skhumbuzo Mpisane (PACSA Process Facilitator)
PACSA was running a small business program for our social club members who are interested in starting their own small businesses. These were a group of young people who were not or couldn’t afford to study further and did not have the skills to apply for work. However, some of these young people were just simply not interested in studying further or seeking employment but believed that freedom will come from them starting their own small businesses.
According to the program goals, we did not have enough people to train and we started connecting with other like-minded organizations for recruitment purposes and Dlalanathi was one of those organizations we connected with.
We shared that we had this opportunity for youth and if they, Dlalanathi, had young people who might be interested they should share the opportunity with them, which Dumisa (Dlalanathi Youth Manager) did.
How was the partnership valuable?
The partnership was valuable not only in the sense that we got young people from Dlalanathi to attend our program but they were remarkable young people. They were familiar with our practice and they understood our vision of the program, so much so that they were able to explain it to other young people we had in the program. Up to now, we are still in touch with them and we are still assisting in their small businesses.
What did you (and we) learn?
Our processes may be the difference but our goals are similar (we aim to empower each other) in this case young people. Through that common understanding, we are able to share resources and information that will enhance our community partner’s experiences.
Dlalanathi follow up story…
One of these ‘remarkable young people’ to whom PACSA refers is a young man from Sweetwaters. In feedback to Dlalanathi youth workers, he said he joined the youth group (mentored by Dlalanathi) because he was sitting at home, not doing anything. Initially, he didn’t have a goal, or know what he wanted in life. However, things started to change when Dlalanathi introduced the group to PACSA to embark on the small business training, and this young man responded with enthusiasm and passion to all he was being taught. He has stuck with it and his business is starting to pick up and he is now he is a mentor to other young people who are starting businesses.
He said: “Had I not utilised this platform, I don’t know where I would be. I appreciate the fact that I have had focus, I know where I am going and how I am going to get there.”