[South Africa] Young volunteers set to empower communities through technology
To help advance youth economic empowerment, Vodacom has given a facelift to Vodacom Change the World by relaunching the programme as an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and youth volunteerism initiative.
Vodacom Change the World will now focus on creating work experience opportunities for young people, who in turn will use their skills and time to give back to their communities through the non-profit organisations (NPOs) of their choice. Selected candidates will be placed at an NPO of their choice for a year and Vodacom will ensure that they are well remunerated.
To promote the culture and spirit of volunteerism through the use of technology.
Vodacom announced a group of 20 young professionals were announced as the 2017 intake at the Gallagher Estate in Midrand. The youth are excited and looking forward to start their projects and work in communities.
The programme will to enhance skills development mainly through the placement of human capital as opposed to the traditional method of grants and sponsorship. This ensures the sustainability of programmes, skills transfer and the longevity and survival of the NPO sector long after the volunteer has left.
The Vodacom Change the World programme was introduced in 2011, giving individuals the opportunity to volunteer their time and skills to work for a NPO for 12 months. To date, 111 volunteers have already made a difference through their placement at a wide range of NPOs.
Chief Executive Officer for Vodacom Group Corporate Affairs, Takalani Netshitenzhe says: “The youth of 2017 is fighting for freedom from poverty, inequality and unemployment and to help alleviate their plight, Vodacom has decided to respond with a specific programme to assist the youth.
“Through the Change the World programme, the youth are afforded a unique opportunity to do something close to their heart, while imparting their ICT skills to help society. As the impacts of the fourth industrial revolution are going to be felt hardest by the youth and women in particular, we see this as an opportunity to help bridge the digital divide in communities whilst preparing youth for a future in a fast digitising world. I am pleased to see that many young females are being placed on the programme and their task is to ensure that more young females are empowered through digital literacy and skills.
The ICT sector will be a key delivery agent in the attainment of the sustainable development goals and it is encouraging that so many youth have shown interest in the programme,” says Netshitenzhe.
Once the year is complete, the 20 youth will be armed with vital work experience, enhanced skills and access to networks that will see them enter the marketplace or even start their own companies.