Science and Technology

City engages youth through arts and culture

The Youth Month event was a mix of song, dance and entertainment in the heart of Langa’s cultural precinct, it also gave an opportunity for young people to debate issues that are important to them. Read more below:

The City of Cape Town’s Arts and Culture Department hosted hundreds of young people today for a Youth Month celebration event in Langa.

The Cultural Precinct in Washington Street was abuzz with a host of activities centred around arts, culture and creativity.

Participants from schools and youth clubs across the city were exposed to puppet shows, theatre pieces and art, as well as several traditional dance showcases and even a dance competition.

The event also featured a social dialogue forum, focusing on issues that affect young people and the possible solutions to those challenges.

Executive Mayor, Alderman Dan Plato, Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Zahid Badroodien and members of the Junior City Council were part of the engagement.

‘Youth are the lifeblood of the city, but they still face many socio-economic issues that hamper their development and keep them in the vulnerable group in our society. The City, along with other spheres of government, has a number of programmes in place to advance youth development and help overcome the challenges such as unemployment, violence, crime and substance abuse. But young people need to be a part of the process, otherwise, we will not make meaningful gains,’ said Alderman Plato.

The City of Cape Town introduced its Transversal Youth Development Strategy in 2015, to improve the coordination of youth programmes across a number of departments, with a single goal: providing integrated services, opportunities and support for young people to become resilient, healthy, independent, responsible, economically active change agents.

‘Our basket of services is diverse and wide-ranging, from skills and capacity development, to job opportunities and bursaries, education and awareness and even sports and recreation activities. In one of the most recent additions, our City clinics have started rolling out dedicated resources to young people to improve their access to primary healthcare. We are on a constant drive to finesse our offering, and it is good to get first-hand feedback from our customers, which in this case, are our young people,’ said Councillor Badroodien.

The Youth Month celebration was just the latest example of how arts can be used to draw in young people.

In February this year, the City’s Creative Art Programme run by the Cultural Spaces Unit within the Social Development and Early Childhood Development Department was incorporated into the Learning Support Programme at two primary schools in Athlone.

A group of learners who had been identified as experiencing learning difficulties were enrolled in the programme to stimulate creativity and boost their self-esteem, while learning specific skills that promote improved academic performance.

‘Youth month throws into the spotlight the many challenges that exist. However, it is also a celebration of youth excellence, because there are so many young people out there who are making a difference, whether on their own steam or with the help of the many youth-focused initiatives in both the public and private sector. It is also an opportunity for us as an administration to take stock of our efforts and the many young people who have succeeded because of it, and it invigorates us to do even more going forward,’ added Councillor Badroodien.

Source: City Of Cape Town