By Sihle Phungula: This is a Non-Profit Company with just over two years in existence. However, they are hitting the ground running. They are already working with local communities and their impact is felt.
“We look beyond our lack of funding but partner with private sector, government and civic groups such DDP in our efforts to drive change. To date we have assisted unemployed youth secure learnership programs, skills training and continue to conduct job preparedness trainings and many other initiatives that seek to advance the lives of disadvantaged youth.”
In keeping with DDPs mission to strengthen democracy our organization has been committed to the realization of this goal through inspiring youth activism. This has seen us undertaking concerted community mobilization campaigns in effort raise political consciousness and inspire active citizenry.
Members of our organization now feature regularly on community forums such as Operation Sukuma Sakhe War rooms and clinic committee. In the OSS war room, we have come out strongly to criticize the dysfunctional and ineffective nature of this forum. We even went to the lengths of escalating these issues to relevant authorities within the municipality. Gradually, we are seeing changes in this forum and indeed the presence of youth is felt. Furthermore, members of the organization now sit in the Clinic committee, to give effect to the department of health’s initiative of promotion of youth friendly services.
Over the years NGOs continue to be charged hall hair fees when facilitating community upliftment programs. After examining municipal bylaws, we realized that this was a rather unfair practice and negotiated that there should be a waiver of these fees particularly for unfunded organizations. We continue to disseminate this information to other organizations within the DDP network partners.” At the recent IDP Budget hearing hosted by the mayor we raised issues that relate to youth representation in both governance structures and administrative leadership, Skills development and need for ward councilors to support civic society instead of view them as detractors.
Our organization is committed to making government, policy makers and other local authorities realize that youth matter and should be a priority. ‘’You cannot talk about us without us.’’ DDP continues to contribute immensely to capacity building of our organization through regular workshops and forums that increased are levels of civic education but also broaden our network.