Our Youth, Our Leaders!

10/06/2019

While June is the month to celebrate the youth of South Africa, at MRP Foundation, every day is youth day!

The 2018 Jump Start Professional Retail Programme Alumni in a learning workshop. Pictured from left to right: Sanele Dlamini, Ismail Rajah, Hannah Nel. Image: MRP Foundation/ Pierre Tostee

Through our education and skills development programmes, MRP Foundation is hoping to unlock tomorrow’s potential in South African youth.

Our vision to break the cycle of poverty and inequality guides our innovative programmes. Our MRP Foundation Schools Programme develops well-rounded learners and empowers school leaders, educators, parents and learners to build quality educational environments. And our work readiness programme, Jump Start, develops the skills of unemployed young people and links them to career opportunities in the retail sector and supply chain.

All our programmes work towards giving youth the opportunity to reach their full potential, despite the high rates of poverty and unemployment. One such example of young people building a better future are the Alumni from our Professional Retail Programme, who are now employed after successfully completing their Jump Start programme. We connected with our Alumni around what it means to them to be a young person in South Africa in 2019.

“To be a young person in South Africa, is to be a game-changer. We need to try and break the cycle of poverty through education and maximising every opportunity to actually get to where we want to be,” says Mbali Gamede (26), a trainee Merchandise Planner at MRP Apparel. “We need to look for opportunities to empower ourselves and make an impact on society!”

Bandile Mbatha, a trainee Location Planner says, “Being a young person in South Africa today means change, because we are the leaders of the coming generations. We need to set an example for the future generations. Change is what is driving the youth today and we have to learn to adapt. We have to be active members of society. We have to be champions of change!”

Twenty-two year old Ismail Rajah, also a trainee Location Planner says that June 16 is a symbol for all South Africans, a reminder of the times that were, and where we are currently. “We have so many opportunities that the youth in the past didn’t have. It is a reminder of the struggles people had to face to get to where we are today.”   

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