24 June 2016 by and Pro Bono and Human Rights Alert

Pro Bono and Human Rights Alert

On 8 June 2016, the Pro Bono and Human Rights Practice (Pro Bono Practice) in conjunction with our Marketing and Human Resources team hosted a Youth Day awareness campaign in our Johannesburg and Cape Town offices themed around youth empowerment. The aim of the campaign was to raise awareness amongst CDHers about the hurdles disadvantaged youth face in current day South Africa (with particular emphasis on unemployment) and to explore solutions and ways in which CDH can become actively engaged in promoting the empowerment of young people.

Representatives from three civil society organisations working to empower disadvantaged youth participated in panel discussions at both offices. The discussions were moderated by CDH candidate attorneys.

Harambee is an accelerator that aims to assist the youth to gain entry-level employment with multiple organisations in South Africa. Harambee takes a new approach by recruiting candidates for existing job opportunities and performs various assessments which assist in placing the candidates in jobs where they are most likely to excel.

It recruits volunteers to assist with a mock interview programme which prepares candidates for their first interviews with prospective employers. Harambee also has a Smart Works initiative that operates as a pre-owned clothing and accessory store from which candidates can source appropriate work attire for their first interview.

Ikamva Youth is a non-profit organisation which aims at assisting the youth through promoting education, literacy and career guidance. This organisation assists underprivileged youth with tutoring in multiple subjects as well as career mentoring programmes. Its goal is to increase the skill set of young underprivileged children in order to assist with the overall knowledge and skill base of the nation as a whole. The organisation recruits volunteers to assist with tutoring and homework sessions as well as its mentorship programme.

The Association for the Physically Disabled assists those who have disabilities with home-based-care as well as learning to cope with life with a disability. The organisation requires both funding and volunteers in order to keep up its good work and extend its services to others. This organisation plays a key role as often persons with disabilities are overlooked by able-bodied individuals and society as a whole.

Panellists discussed and debated the continued relevance of Youth Day in 2016 and gave an overview of the work of their organisations in assisting and promoting youth empowerment. They also highlighted the ways in which young professionals can assist disadvantaged youth through volunteering.

All of the organisations identified lack of access to quality education as the biggest hurdle disadvantaged youth face today along with poverty, substance abuse and unemployment. All emphasised the key role that education plays in unlocking opportunity.

CDH made a generous donation to each organisation as a show of gratitude for their participation in our Youth Day campaign from funds collected in a Youth Day Raffle arranged by the Pro Bono Practice.

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