Skills Development Centre Grand Opening

Last week we celebrated the grand opening of our new skills centre in Capricorn Business Park. It was a wonderful event with creative performances from our Sozonites, tours of the new training spaces and of course delicious eats from our own Sozo artisan bakery school for some of our partners and alumni beneficiaries who were able to attend.

We were thrilled to have MEC Sharna Gail Fernandez from the Western Cape Department of Social Development as our honoured guest to speak about the importance of youth employment and working together. She even declared that our baristas made the best coffee she’s ever had!

A snippet of Minister Fernandez’s speech: “I used to play on the dunes of Lavender Hill and spent 40 years of my life in this neighbourhood.

These communities have risen out of the ashes of Apartheid, and the young people of today, I tell you, you are not defined by your circumstances. Young people are at the forefront of change and innovation, many have the spirit to make things happen – they just need to be given the time and space to excel. We need young peoples’ voices, we cannot survive without listening to our young people. Your voice matters, we belive in the power of young people.

I want to say a huge thank you to Sozo for opening the first Youth Skills Development Centre. These centres play a critical role in uplifting the lives of thousands of young people. They provide youth with a platfom where they can access skills, personal development and training, and creative spaces where they are able to express themselves at a local and global scale. This opening could not have come at a better time, as we continue to migitate the economic effects of the ongoing impacts of Covid-19 pandemic.

“May it be a centre of hope, a centre of excellence and a beacon of light.”

Our wonderful volunteer photographers Josie Borain and Bronwyn Trupp’s stunning photos from the day: