Youth Dialogue: Way forward for Reformed ex Gang Members.

On Thursday 11 July, Africa Unite had a dialogue at its Singamakhalipha office in Gugulethu. In attendance was a Department of Social Development representative, a group of 15 Gugulethu Youth (who were previously involved with drugs and notorious local gangsterism), the media (City vision community newspaper), and Africa Unite Peer Educators.

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One of the facilitators of the programme said that the Gugulethu youth needed to be empowered with skills; which would make them marketable for job opportunities so that they would not return to drug use and gangs. As part of the activities the  youth were given a questionnaire which had several questions, including why they joined gangs. Some of their responses offered that it was due to peer pressure, unemployment, and financial struggles among other things. They were also asked what challenges they  face as youth–to which they responded  lack employment, self sustaining activities, and education.

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The representative from the Department of Social Development along with Africa Unite emphasized on the importance of  the education. Sitting government and other organizations can also provide assistance where possible. This could help the youth to stay away from drugs and gangsterism, as they are the leaders of tomorrow.

Africa Unite also shared awareness on Human Rights and explained how we as an organization could assist the Gugulethu Youth by providing free life skills training and companionship.

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