Our ProgramWCN & TLC Skills Center
The West Coast Network (WCN), not only believes in supporting the community where we “live and work”, but has been fully committed to “giving-back” by raising funds for charity since its inception in 2000. Each year we would choose a worthy charity to support but, in 2016, we decided that to have the biggest impact we needed to “adopt a charity” and build support over many years as opposed to an annual “one-off” approach!
With WCN’s strong belief that it is “better to teach a man to fish than to give him fish” it became clear that we could make the biggest impact by assisting unemployed youths in acquiring a skill and then finding them employment. The effect would not only be significant for themselves but also for their families and their community. We would both directly and indirectly affect countless lives with this sustainable initiative. And so, the idea of a skills centre was born.
For the skills centre to flourish, we needed a partner and there was none better qualified than TLC Outreach Project, a non-profit, welfare organization, registered with the Department of Social Development. TLC’s founder, Colleen Petersen, has been working tirelessly in our community since 1996 and does amazing work with over 600 settlement kids and unemployed youth. There was no better person or organisation to develop and run the skills centre.
The goal was to build a centre where unemployed youth could go to learn life skills and a work skill (plumbing, electrical, welding, driving, painting, computer literacy etc.) and then to find the successful graduate gainful employment. A life skill is defined as “a skill that is necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life”. This is crucial for the adaptability of community members to be able to deal with life’s everyday demands and challenges. We therefore saw that this was an invaluable skill for all our students to gain along with a recognised trained skill that would result in steady employment. Through this, our goal was established.
- Offer life skills
- Teach employable skills
- Find emploments for 100 youths annually
- 22 Youths enrolled
- 9 Skilled and employed
- 13 Graduate at the end of November 2017
TLC is a non-profit, welfare organization, registered with the Department of Social Development. Their purpose is to care for destitute youth at risk. Working together towards a brighter future! TLC strives to work tirelessly to overcome and solve social issues in the community in order to build a better society for all who live in it. TLC Projects, which was founded in 1996, are currently working in six settlements where they have started to build up the lives of many families and children through feeding projects, educational programs and social outreaches.
Over the past few years the project has extended the reach of their preventative program to help meet the needs of informal settlement children at risk. By networking with other organisations and our local police station together, they have united these diverse settlements under a blanket of love and care with the provision of a safe haven. TLC operate from a practically-centered perspective and work closely with the youth at risk in these cluster communities to offer relief and rehabilitation to the children often facing multifaceted levels of abuse. Their main objective is the facilitation of the preventative programs in the settlements. TLC engages these communities in regular education, motivation and social upliftment programs and exciting events such as fun at the beach, various sporting activities and movie outings which are hosted by TLC throughout the year. For more information on TLC please visit www.tlcprojects.org.za
A message from our Chairmain
I was honoured to share in this wonderful graduation occasion. Seeing the graduates dressed so smartly, faces beaming with pride and enjoying the occasion was an absolute privilege. Well done to ALL the graduates.
There was lots of emotion and tears as we heard about each graduates story and their “road” to graduating. They face real hardship/challenges in their daily lives (unemployed, living on the street, limited education and opportunities, no ID etc.) and to achieve what they have, in spite of their circumstances, is true testimony to their spirit and will to make something of their lives. Many of these graduates have already found employment and this was always the end goal of the Skills Centre – “teach a man to fish and he can feed himself and his family for a lifetime”.
The work that Colleen Petersen and her incredible team (field staff, teachers and volunteers) put into the Skills Centre and to ALL the students and young kids must be truly commended. I honour them for the work they do and the difference they make to so many lives in our community. Thank you
Thank you to all the members of West Coast Network for the work that goes into raising funds for the Skills Centre. Raising funds is not easy, especially in today’s tough economic times but seeing these graduates go from living on the street to gaining employment makes the effort so worthwhile……and is the ultimate reward for all of us.
We look forward to seeing even more students graduating next year and gaining employment
– Andrew Herweg