Project Playground

Ambassador Of The Month June 2013 - Margi Van Gogh

Nyhet   •   Jul 24, 2013 10:24 CEST

1. You have been involved with PPG for a while now. What have struck you the most about PPG?

It is difficult to answer this question in brief, as I have been struck by so much since becoming directly involved with your wonderful organisation. However if I have to pick what has resonated most, it has to be the incredible dedication of the staff you have on the PPG Team. 

Their level of commitment to all the young people in the various PPG programmes is highly commendable, particularly when one considers the many challenges they themselves face each day. Every member of the team in SA and in Sweden are so passionate about serving the children of Langa – this passion is evident in all the support, guidance and love that gets “served up” every day.

2. You founded Aid2Trade and are now helping our kids to get work experience e.g through WIP. Have you seen an outcome from this initiative yet? 

Based on concerns related to rising unemployment particularly amongst our youth, and allied to a keen appreciation for the human capital development challenge facing employers, the Aid 2 Trade Foundation was established to encourage “trade from aid”.

Key objectives of the programme are:
- deliver a “real world” learning experience to equip township youth with the elementary market entry skills, formal sector work-shadowing experience, and essential mentoring guidance to build confidence and bridge the opportunity gap they face;

- systematically focus on developing in our youth an “enterprise-mindset”, encouraging entrepreneurial spirit, challenging and supporting young adults to achieve their aspirations for further education, employment and/or self-employment.

One method for achieving this “real world” experience is through the delivery of structured corporate work-shadow programmes (WSP) for Grade 12 learners/students affiliated to active social development NPO’s like PPG. The programme provides underprivileged youth between the ages of 17-22 with a “real world” learning experience in the formal economy, through facilitating collaboration between corporate companies and Aid/NPO organisations – with DHL and PPG supporting the 2013 pilot.

The programme is modular, and in addition to 30 workshadow days, includes 35 learning workshops, delivered weekly (after hours) to students during their final year of secondary school. Module 2 has just been completed with a very successful 2-week workshadow rotation (WSR) concluded at DHL in Cape Town on Friday the 5th of July. 

In terms of outcomes to date, the programme is progressing very well and giving us some good insights on what works and what we need to adapt. It is most encouraging to see how engaged all our students are, they are growing in confidence and actively practicing good, professional communication skills.  This is being evidenced in the personal relationships our students are developing with their DHL mentors. They are building a very personal and professional network. Which is being further reinforced by the overwhelmingly positive feedback I have received from DHL after this 2nd WSR.

3. What would be your dream scenario with the WIP? 

My dream is that every student graduating from the Aid 2 Trade workshadow programme will go on to achieve their aspirations for further education, employment and/or self-employment. My dream is that through learning and growing, our Aid 2 Trade students are inspired to serve society and their community – becoming confident, contributing adults. That they too become mentors, inspiring and encouraging those younger. That they also continue building strong relationship networks, where they are active ambassadors who truly promote “trade from aid”!