On Wednesday I got a chance to participate in my first project. I traveled outside of PE to the city of Uitenhage where Ready4Life is expanding their unemployed youth program. We were hosting an exposition day where several local businesses came and provided information on potential opportunities for employment in the region. I was there to help promote the new program in Uitenhage that would teach unemployed youth life skill and prepare them for the job market. Many of the people who came into the exhibition were interested in the jobs, but unsure of what steps to take after getting an application. Our program would provide them with training and knowledge needed to potentially obtain one of these jobs. I really enjoyed the getting the chance to talk to the members of the community and try to convince them of benefits of participating in the program. The new program was starting the following Monday and we managed to get 90 people to sign up for the course. As this is a new program, I am excited that I was able to participate in the initial recruitment of participants and see what kind of people are interested in the programs. I also discussed with my coworker a plan to work further with this program. I will be updating the manuals used to teach participants about life skills as well as work on the evaluation of the program. The rest of the week I was assigned to alter the curriculum for one week of the course that involved a day trip to a local museum. I was tasked with finding a replacement to the museum used in previous years, as it is now closed, and with meeting with the management to discuss specifics as well as the content covered during the day. I learned from this week how challenging it is to get participants to commit to the program as well as the difficulties that lie in working with unemployed youth. The program requires a minimal fee from participants to ensure their commitment and to cover some of the costs. Convincing young adults who do not have an income to pay for a course is a challenge, which is why the expos are important to show how Ready4Life can aid the community in improving their skills and providing better opportunities. I also realized for the first time the challenges with not speaking the local languages. I was dependent on my coworkers to translate or speak about the program. This week I was able to work with the program I will be developing and see for myself what people will be participating. This weekend I am going on my first trip to see the local coastline, the forest and go bungee jumping. My birthday is also this upcoming Tuesday so I am looking forward to celebrating here in PE with my new friends. I will post again soon about the following week soon.


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