One of the key gaps Kwakha Indvodza has identified in our boys’ journey towards adulthood is found between school and the workplace. Prior to joining, many of our participants had never considered which career they may like to pursue, or what they need to do to begin that process.
As the next step in a series of activities that focused on jump-starting Indvo careers, we recently implemented a work experience programme (WEP), allowing the guys to spend three or more days during the school holiday working in a field of their choice. Over the course of two weeks, the Kwakha team placed close to 50 boys in nearly 20 businesses spanning more than 10 sectors. In just a few days, the programme took Indovs to places they never thought possible – such as under car hoods and on top of light posts, inside paramedic stations and throughout hospital wards, behind computer screens and above sound-boards. Their mentors pushed them beyond conventional thinking and supported them as they experimented with alternative approaches, like building natural houses and composting toilets, growing organic foods and cooking healthy meals, and developing craftsmanship skills and self-expression techniques through the use of recycled materials.
At a wrap-up meeting immediately following the programme, the boys came together to share some of their experiences. They spoke of learning new skills, meeting different people, and developing greater clarity around what their career paths might look like. They also talked about the areas where they need to improve, most notably time management and social skills. The meeting ended with one request coming out loud and clear: can Kwakha please add more days to WEP next year?