Afrika Tikkun is dedicated in investing in education, health and social services for children, youth and their families through its community Centres of Excellence and strategic partnerships. As ActionAid South Africa’s implementing partner, they have managed to support young womxn in the Gauteng and Western Cape Provinces.
Together they have numerous programmes that are aimed at supporting young womxn to gain necessary skills to improve their lives. One of the programmes, the Alumni Graduate programme has been instrumental in consolidating investment done by the organisations over several years. This program also equips young people with information and skills to contribute to the economy while being aware of their social responsibilities, therefore, leadership development becomes one of the key components of this program. At the initial stage of engaging young people to share this program, one of the areas they indicated they need support on is leadership. The young women’s camp was held in response to that need identified.The camp started off with the session titled Understanding linkages between SRHR and economic justice It was important for young womxn to understand how these concepts play themselves out in their
lives. They were separated into four groups where they reflect and map out their experiences as
young womxn in the townships. The facilitator stressed that in their discussions, they should highlight how these experiences intersect to form barriers to economic justice and health equity for young womxn
National Minimum Wage
The facilitator discussed that government has, over the years, developed strategies to address youth unemployment. A Youth Wage Subsidy (YWS) was introduced to companies where young people could earn R2500 a month. This offering came with tax breaks for business. The critique of YWS was that companies can employ many young people on a temporary basis without providing decent work.
Access to Decent Work
South Africa is one of the countries that has committed to provision of decent work. Despite this commitment, many young people in the country do not have access to such work. Due to lack of employment, people tend to take any job available whether it is decent or not. The the facilitator asked young womxn if they were aware of key elements that make a job decent. They shared that they have heard about decent work, and their understanding was that it is a job that must pay a living wage income that one can use to take care of self and family. The facilitator used the ILO elements of decent work to clarify. This camp is foundational work for advocacy that these young womxn leaders will do in 2019. It was important that this work of getting to know self- making sense of one’s life, to understand the basic concepts on issues to be tackled and put down building blocks for solidarity. This is crucial for movement building work. In 2019, Afrika Tikkun will ensure that these young womxn leaders participate in critical civil society national conversations on issues affecting womxn. They can only do so effectively when they are empowered with information.