A multi-purpose and community-run centre, ROOtZ, has formally opened its doors for members of the youth in Philippi Village, Cape Town. The centre, established as a Non-Profit Company, has been carefully curated and built up over the years to provide a range of key resources to nurture and extend the education and development of the youth of Philippi, with the hopes of providing the youth of today with the access to resources they need to thrive as individuals tomorrow.
From academic tutoring at all grade levels to career exploration and training, the ROOtZ facility has been designed to support learners at whichever step of their educational journey they are at, while fostering the joy of learning and the fulfillment it brings. At ROOtZ, community leaders work together with the youth to help lay the foundations required for a career in a field that inspires them. The goal is to minimise youth unemployment by providing as many opportunities as possible to empower learners with the skills they need, in a safe studying environment, as all involved work towards securing them a future that is defined by hope and ample career opportunities.
Community consultation and collaboration forms an integral part of the ROOtZ philosophy, with all centre initiatives being scaling its support and services in line with the needs and wishes expressed by the community, and in a format that works for them. Members of the Philippi community and surrounding areas will now have access to a fully equipped digital resource centre where they can receive career guidance from the layout of their CV’s to the online submission of an application towards their dream job.
There is also a boardroom where business discussions can take place, and where Zoom meetings, online classes or webinars can be attended without distraction or interruption. Younger children can attend a safe and stimulating aftercare facility, which will also be running holiday programs, to support busy parents in Philippi who are required to work throughout the school holidays.
The provision of these resources will be a critical undertaking towards combatting crime, poverty and unemployment in Philippi. Without access to such resources, communities are disempowered without the means to uplift themselves. The carefully curated facilities available at the ROOtZ centre will provide the support that the members of our youth require to take full advantage of their talents and career ambitions, in a safe and enabling environment.
Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport for the Western Cape, Anroux Marais, shared the following at the ROOtZ launch: “The ROOtZ facility has created a safe space for the youth in this community. South Africans are deeply affected by crime and unemployment, but members of the youth in Philippi now have a safe space to learn new skills while furthering their educational needs. We often speak about risk where there is lack of opportunity, but with the ROOtZ centre, there is only potential for improved learning and growth.”
The opening of the ROOtZ facility in Philippi has been made possible through its initial seed capital start-up sponsor, SALT Employee Benefits (SALT EB). CEO of SALT EB, Eddie Strydom shares that “even though Philippi Village will be the first location for this ROOtZ facility, it is envisaged that these multi-purpose centres will be replicated in similar communities across South Africa, so that we might offer these resources and services to empower our youth nationwide.”
The ROOtZ team invites all like-minded NPOs, private companies, as well as public representatives from Provincial and Local Government authorities, to join them in pursuing similar goals, to ensure a brighter, more prosperous future for the youth of our country. “It will take our combined efforts to build more facilities that seek to address the poverty, crime and unemployment that besieges our youth and communities in need.”