Albert Fritz, MPP
Western Cape Minister of Social Development
Minister Albert Fritz yesterday attended the graduation ceremony of GROW Leadership programme, which is run by our NGO partner in the Youth Café programme, R-Labs.
The GROW Leadership Academy offers young people aged 18 – 25 with an extensive programme in community development, government, entrepreneurship, digital technology, social innovation and leadership.
Yesterday’s graduation saw 85 young people who completed the intensive course, receive their certificates. Since its inception in 2011, over 452 young people have completed the course and approximately 90% of graduates have since gone on to find employment or start their own businesses.
Minister Fritz delivered the keynote address. His key message was that young people who seek and take advantage of opportunities, and use their talents, are critical for the future prosperity of the province. The department will continue to adopt a whole-of-society approach to youth empowerment programmes, which will include our continued partnering with NGOs and the private sector to deliver services and opportunities to young people.
GROW Leadership graduates have the opportunity to be a significant part of this partnership driven delivery. The steps they take in the future, whether it’s starting a business, finding a job or internship opportunity, will contribute to expanding the economy of the Western Cape.
The event was hosted by R-Labs founder and social entrepreneur, Marlon Parker, and was attended by other partners in the youth development sector, including USAID, which was represented by its Mission Director for Southern Africa, Ms. Cheryl Anderson.
The Western Cape Government will continue to create spaces and opportunities for young people so that they can improve their lives. However our initiatives can only work if we continue to build partnerships with civil society, NGO’s, the private sector, parents and young people. We believe development and progress is best achieved by everyone working ‘Better Together’ and fulfilling their responsibilities.