On 18 July 2022, Mfesane supported by the SA Climate Change Champions and the Western Cape Government hosted a Youth Café on International Nelson Mandela Day, in Vredenburg.
Mfesane is a community-based organisation that helps individuals and families to build better lives for themselves by creating local communities that are positive, strong and healthy. The organisation does this by offering community-based health care services to families as well as skills training education, and empowering communities through sustainable partnerships.
The SA Climate Change Champions is an initiative that aims to enable constructive and collaborative engagement by communities, women and youth in climate mitigation and adaptation. The project aims to increase awareness of the array of opportunities in the renewable energy sector of South Africa’s green economy.
The learners at the Masiphathisane Primary School had an opportunity to be empowered and learn about why their environmental footprint is important, the inter-related pressures of climate change on the natural ecosystem on which humanity depends and what renewable energy is as well as the effect it has on their community.
“Today we are here to give back to our community by teaching our young people about climate change, as well as how having a garden can have a positive effect on their families and the communities at large,” said Prince Manuel, Mfasena Facilitator.
He further said: “By doing this, we can also eliminate poverty. Most of the time our families cannot afford food throughout the month. So that is where food gardening helps us. When times are tough we can easily go to the garden and harvest some of the foods that we have planted.”
Within the context of renewable energy space, the SA Climate Change Champs project sets out to inform communities about the potential of adopting renewable energy practices, and how it can help drive inclusion, and empower them. Everyone in South Africa is affected by the current state of affairs with regard to our crippling energy crisis, and Saldanha Bay is no exception.
Chester Carolus, the workshop facilitator, said: “We are struggling with energy supply in the community, our purpose today was to educate our learners to look at things from a green or renewables side. As it is we are experiencing load shedding because of the mismanagement of our state-owned enterprise, Eskom. As a monopoly, there isn’t competition.”
“Load shedding affects all of the communities. Personally, load shedding affects me in so many ways. You sometimes want to go somewhere but you can’t iron your clothes. In the past few weeks, we have been getting load shedding three or two times a day. It also affects the appliances within the household.” He said.
Saldanha Bay Youth Café prepares young people for their futures. You can expect to be equipped with tools that will assist in their personal development, leadership, and training for future employment.
GreenCape, leading the delivery of the SA Climate Change Champs, will be visiting several communities around the Western, Eastern and Northern Cape, to host such workshops. This initiative is co-funded by the European Union and Friedrich Naumann Foundation and implemented by GreenCape.