Duduzile and Mbalizethu lead charge to establish vocational school for Orange Farm youth

In the heart of Ext 7 and Drieziek 4, Duduzile Xaba, 28, and Mbalizethu Khumalo, 21, are catalysts for change, championing a new era of empowerment in their community.

Their vision? To establish a vocational school aimed at equipping the youth of Orange Farm with essential skills, steering them towards a brighter future while combatting prevalent social challenges.

Duduzile and Mbalizethu, integral members of the ActionAid Young Urban Women (YUW) programme, are at the forefront of addressing economic rights, sexual and reproductive health among young women. Through a human rights-based approach, the program fosters the active agency of impoverished young women, emphasizing empowerment, advocacy and solidarity.

The concept of a vocational school sprouted from a collective brainstorm during a training session at the Afrika Tikkun Arekopaneng Centre, an implementing partner of ActionAid. YUW provided a platform for young women to voice their struggles, ranging from cramped living conditions to limited access to education and employment opportunities within the community.

With a mission to bridge these gaps, the initiative aims to establish a vocational institution offering training in plumbing, electrical work, carpentry, poultry farming and more. By nurturing a pool of skilled laborers capable of entrepreneurship, the project seeks to address unemployment and aging infrastructure plaguing the region.

Though the journey towards realizing the school’s establishment is arduous, Duduzile and Mbalizethu are fueled by unwavering passion and support. Engaging community members, local Councillors and potential stakeholders, they lay the groundwork for a transformative endeavor set to redefine Orange Farm’s socio-economic landscape.

Amidst a backdrop of rampant unemployment and societal challenges, the initiative stands as a beacon of hope, promising not only job creation but also a decline in crime rates. Leveraging partnerships with businesses to provide practical materials, the project ensures that youth are equipped to pursue entrepreneurship and employment opportunities.

In defiance of governmental constraints, these young women advocate for their voices to be heard, striving to carve a path towards collective upliftment and intergenerational unity within Orange Farm. Their initiative embodies a fresh wave of innovation and determination, poised to ignite change and narrow the divide between generations.

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