On November 3, 2023, the Salesians senior management team led by Fr Francois (CEO) presented to the Rotary Club of Waterfront about the progress made since the start of the three-year intervention program. The latter is referred to as the Rotary Club of Waterfront’s legacy project.
The mission of Salesians: “Driven by Don Bosch’s values, we are committed and through our educational programmes provide at-risk youth the skills and competencies needed for the world of work and life.”
Gabriel Hamuy showcased the progress made to date, starting from the first workshop facilitated by Mymoena Ismail, Jonathan Yach, and Michael Goldman in August 2022. During the workshop, Michael Goldman pointed out that a complaint could be a great opportunity.
The Rotary Club of Waterfront facilitated the repositioning of the Salesians Institute Youth Project (SIYP) with the aim of increasing its relevance in a digital world. This involved revisiting its value proposition, establishing links with industry stakeholders, and updating the curriculum to include character skills and digital literacy skills that are in high demand for employability. Developing a capable workshop with job-ready character behaviour and technical competencies especially those from previously deprived communities remain as targeted beneficiaries.
Gabriel Hamuy highlighted the role of the Smart Work Centre in improving English literacy skills through a program called Reading Eggs, and in embedding literacy skills into the WCED curriculum through Computers4Kids. It was noted that the Smart Work Centre has been fully utilized by teachers and learners, particularly those of Learn to Live, School of Skills.
The YES I CAN DO IT program is a game changer for learners in terms of mindset and success. Two Live to Live, School of Skills learners have benefited greatly from RYLA, which was facilitated by Maryka Vermaak, Sue Trotter, and June Webber.
The New Venture Creation programs have successfully delivered individuals who have expressed interest in starting their own businesses. Industry partners facilitated by the Rotary Club of Waterfront have also supported the growth of some learners who are keen to continue their businesses in 2024. The opportunity for students to participate in the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon as community engagement has opened their minds. Seeing Cape Town alive at 3 a.m. has removed the blinkers on the students.
The adoption of the uLektz platform has enabled the aggregation of services and made learners/students available for employability. It further supports the alumni of SIYP and directs partnerships with international and local funders.
The Salesians team expressed gratitude to the supports Club of Waterfront for their commitment and dedication to their work.
David Bradley, who was absent from the meeting, and Martin Colman reminded us of our first link to Salesians via Fr Declan Collins, who was the warden of the Don Bosco Hostel at Salesians when he was recruited to join the new Rotary Club in 1992. Fr Declan was a tireless fighter for street children who were hounded by the police during the apartheid days. He spent many hours at Caledon Square Police Station obtaining the release of detained street children.
It is noteworthy how Salesians have evolved in response to changing community needs. A consistent thread, like in the Rotary Club, has been the links to the maritime theme. Fr Declan’s annual act of service was the Blessing of the Fishing Fleet at the start of the fishing season.
The Rotary Club was especially proud that the first Paul Harris recognition of a Club Member was given to Fr Declan, and the ceremony was handled by then Captain Martin Colman.