Pathways to decent work
We are working on understanding the options and building out pathways to decent work through a variety of project streams, including pathways back to Matric or Matric equivalency, pathways to affordable and funded tertiary education as well as our key immediate area of focus, pathways to nanopreneurship.
While youth development programmes can assist young people to access work opportunities, we believe it is important to focus on education, since the higher the level of education, the higher the average salary a person can expect to receive. In addition, we know with our country’s high levels of unemployment, that helping young people be better placed to start or improve a side hustle, create a main hustle and build “nano-businesses” which can support livelihoods and possibly grow to employ one or more people is key to our country overcoming cycles of poverty and dependency.
Youth are a unique cohort in that they require deep and ongoing care given the trauma they continue to undergo (intergenerational issues, job/work disappointments, an economy unprepared for the youth bulge, difficult financial dynamics etc.). Research within the Lucha Lunako network has shown that programmes designed without significant thought and resources dedicated to ongoing support for youth have a high failure rate.
Therefore, youth need to be supported at multiple levels, from psycho-social support to access to networks and more because we recognize that young people in low-income countries and communities face many complex challenges in reaching their full potential and creating fulfilling lives for themselves. Because these things are traditionally human-intensive, the costs are usually prohibitive, therefore new ways of imagining scalable and affordable solutions to these challenges is required.
Psychosocial Support in Relation to Youth South Africa
Our action research publication Psychosocial Support in Relation to Youth South Africa provides a firm foundation for us to create the opportunity and space for South African youth development actors to work together to contribute to the viable, scalable solutions that transcend our original study, and design and activate a network that promotes accessibility to holistic psychosocial support for our youth.