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Overcoming unemployment in South Africa

After years of apartheid, South Africa continues to face the triple challenge of chronic high unemployment, poverty, and inequality.

The prospect of creating a career are slim for the many of young people in the country. Moreover, the HIV and AIDS epidemic has impacted most poor households.

Humana People to People has been working in South Africa since 1995, with the aim of improving the quality of life in all communities. Many of the projects tackle the growing youth unemployment from different angels (health, education, community development…) but all with the same goal: to create jobs for young people. By establishing local structures, training and empowering the communities to be self-reliant and self-deciding bodies, Humana People to People in South Africa contributes to reduce one of the current main issues of the country.

The country has the highest long-term youth unemployment rate among medium-income nations in Africa, with 48.2% of people between the ages of 15 and 24 being unemployed, almost double the national overall unemployment figure of 25%.

Our Response

One of Humana People to People in South Africa’s most innovative programs is the Humana Youth in Action, partly funded by the European Union, which worked on integrating culture and artistic languages enhancing youth empowerment and social development. “The project was aimed at improving young people’s artistic and life skills. It wass contributing positively to their communities socio-economic development through drama, music, poetry, sculpture, dance and drawing”, explains Sizwe Mbele, a Humana Youth in Action project leader.

Young people between the ages of 15 to 24 years old were given an opportunity to develop themselves through further education on modern topics in an ever changing world. The education was developing their skills to be active citizens who work to create better conditions, especially for the poor and vulnerable and use this education as a springboard to further their career as progressive and active citizens.

“Unemployment amongst youth in South Africa is a big problem. This program is an active contribution to future employment of youth with the development of artistic abilities through youth clubs,” says Roeland van de Geer, Head of Delegation of the European Commission.