There are now 500 youth attending life skills classes regularly in the East Cape region of South Africa thanks to the ongoing work of Xola Yoyo. Xola was hired by Partner for Youth Empowerment‘s partner organization ASAP (African Solutions to African Problems), to implement the Creative Community Model in a youth empowerment program for teens in the East Cape. He has been providing ongoing training and support for local arts facilitators and social artists ever since.
In addition to the life skills classes, the facilitators are also providing youth empowerment camps, and the results have been fantastic. “We’ve noticed that the youth are starting to stand up for themselves and talk about their feelings,” says Xola. In particular, Xola is proud of the work that has been done with 4 boys who attended a camp in January this year. Prior to the camp they had been bullying and beating up other young people and had broken into their schools, stealing and damaging property. After the youth empowerment camp the school principal told Xola he was amazed by the changes in these young men. “They don’t beat up and bully anymore, and they are attending school regularly – it’s amazing.”
As in other parts of the world, the work is beneficial to the adult social artists and youth facilitators as well as to the young people they work with. 7 of the 15 youth workers in Xola’s training group have now found employment as a result of their newly developed facilitation skills.