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Leretlhabetse Thusong Service Centre (North West)

Youth Service at the doorstep of far-flung Moretele

Easy access to Umsobomvu Youth Fund thanks to partnerships

Once a Thusong Service Centre is established, alignment and co-ordination of service delivery is ongoing. Shared responsibility between local and national government means that Thusong Service Centres continue to be centres for development – the measure of success of the programme. Even though the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) provides overall co-ordination and support for Thusong Service Centres, municipalities are key drivers in the development of any Thusong Service Centre. Partnerships like these guarantee the ongoing development of Thusong Service Centres, moving to greater levels of sustainability.

Young people in Moretele now have access to the Umsobomvu Youth Fund right on their doorstep, in their own municipality and province, rather than travelling 200 km all the way to Gauteng. Their most frequently-asked question at development communication workshops held by GCIS was: ‘When are we going to have an Umsobomvu youth advisory centre?’

The Umsobomvu Youth Fund targets youth capacity-building and empowerment. GCIS organised meetings with community members in and around Lebotlwane to discuss how a youth advisory centre could be established. Consequently, an executive board was set up to drive the process of bringing a youth advisory centre to Lerethlabestse Thusong Service Centre. The board registered as a non-profit organisation at the Department of Social Development and a business plan and a constitution were drawn up. Umsobomvu approved the board’s application, allocating R300 000 at six-month intervals. The local municipality sits on the board to facilitate effective implementation of the advisory centre. Four young people are now employed at the Leretlhabetse Youth Advisory Centre, established in May 2006 and officially launched in September 2006.

Ephraim Mbara, senior communication officer at the centre who also sits on the board as public relations officer, has the following advice to offer: It is far easier to apply for funds once you have formed an organisation, rather than an as an individual; let questions and input from the everyone in the community guide you when you want to start a project. He is convinced that ‘working together as a team, with a common objective, is very important because you will achieve your goal at the end of the day’.

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