This week, I had the privilege to visit and engage with beneficiaries who are participating in a one-year placement through the ORT-Liquid Intelligent Technologies-YES project. It was an insightful experience that I would like to share with you. Wow, what an experience!

Bonga Peter, who is positioned as a sales admin and is concurrently studying for his IT diploma, finds his work experience in sales overwhelming yet fulfilling. He is gaining numerous skills, including adhering to timelines, interacting with customers, dealing with colleagues, and he dreams of starting his own business one day.

Thandokazi Linda Mpunyuka, always dreamt about working in a large building, and she could scarcely believe it when the opportunity arrived for her to occupy a desk overlooking the most beautiful view from a top floor of a lavish building. The realization of her dream is especially significant when her manager encourages her to learn, grow, and challenges her with tasks that would befit someone who has been in her position for five years.

Asanda Xhlala, is in the process of learning about work relations and the necessity of achieving outcomes. Despite all the challenges, A doesn’t give up.

I was thoroughly impressed by these youths who are sometimes willing to work long hours to achieve their targets.

In my conversation with Buzwe  Makangume, who works as a merchandiser, he conveyed his gratitude for his work opportunity in his soft voice and eloquent English. He expressed his dream of becoming an electrical engineer and how he is currently working to improve his matric results.

I was left inspired by these young individuals and their stories. Behind the statistics of unemployed youth in South Africa (60% or more), there are faces, stories of struggle and survival, and dreams of not only making a living but creating a fulfilling life. If the future of South Africa is in the hands of such youth, I am hopeful