Nissan is helping to mark Mandela Month by donating computers to the Bophelong Youth Centre to support the teaching of basic computer literacy and internet skills.
The 15 new computers will replace old or damaged equipment and will aid the centre, located in Sedibeng, a southern Gauteng township, in its ongoing schools out-reach programme to disadvantaged youths.
Portia Gibson, a part-time administration volunteer at the Bophelong Youth Centre, is thrilled. Portia, who gained full-time employment through the centre, said: “We are delighted that Nissan SA has donated much-needed computers. Having access to a computer assisted me in my training and job placement and are invaluable in helping other underprivileged youths who are faced with many social challenges in the area.”
Keba Matlhako, Nissan South Africa’s corporate social responsibility senior manager, said the company had chosen to support the centre to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s championing of South Africa’s youth.
“Nissan’s philosophy is to enrich people’s lives,” said Matlhako. “We are pleased that the new computers will provide continuity in preparing young people to make their way in life and to make a meaningful contribution to society.”
Bophelong Youth Centre is one of several advisory facilities in Sedibeng, home to a large population of unemployed young people. Many are also orphaned, infected or affected by HIV/Aids, and in child-headed families.
In partnership with other corporate donors, Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa and SAB, Nissan South Africa is working with Sedibeng community youth centres to make a difference in the lives of these vulnerable youth.
The youth centres offer support and guidance to youngsters – who often get caught up in crime and substance abuse – by teaching life skills. They include career guidance and assistance in looking for a job or starting a small business.
More than 26,000 youngsters have attended the Bophelong Youth Centre since it was established in 2012. Of these almost 240 have had access to learnerships in partnership with the National Youth Service.
Bophelong credits its staff – comprising three youth officers, a centre coordinator, career guidance office and outreach officer – as the centre’s driving force.
A schools outreach programme prepares learners for life outside the confines of their learning institution. Working with business and government economic empowerment programmes – such as the National Youth Development Agency, the regional Gauteng Enterprise Propeller, and the Gauteng City Regional Academy – the centre offers advice and linkages to assist young people find jobs or develop entrepreneurial skills to set up small sustainable businesses.
“We are delighted that Nissan SA has honoured Madiba’s legacy through the gift of technology and access to information through these computers,” said Sedibeng Executive Mayor, Cllr Busisiwe Joyce Modisakeng. “Working with corporate partners, the Sedibeng youth centres are helping to restore young people’s dignity and give them direction in life.”
Nissan SA will also be donating computers to the Iphahamiseng Child and Youth Centre in Bloemfontein in partnership with other corporates.