“Every young person needs to know that there is at least one adult who is rooting for him, who believes in him completely and who will walk alongside of him through the transition from childhood to adulthood. Oftentimes with traumatised young people, this adult is the child and youth care worker.” South African Child and Youth Care Trainer.
It is important to understand the complexity of socio-economic circumstances facing a young South African. Abject poverty, chronic illness, poor standard of education, abuse, trauma, gender-based violence, radical substance abuse statistics are all emphasised problems pertaining to our young people.
However, within this there is the need to reframe. Young people in our country are resilient, creative, and entrepreneurial, are able to solve massive problems and want to build this country.Monitoring and evaluation within the Educo Africa programme, consistently demonstrates the young person’s ability to build his or her life. Indicators of improved family functioning, school motivation, goal setting, assertiveness etc. are all above 80%
The Educo Africa programme offers a real gateway to positive change in the life of the young person.
State of the South African young person
- Approximately 75% of children are poor in that they lack sufficient income to meet their basic needs
- There are an estimated 3 000 000 unemployable young people in this country
- It is estimated that 13% of children aged 2 – 14 years in South Africa have lost a mother, father or both
- One in every three urban schoolgirls had experienced sexual violence at school
- Childline (a non profit organisation that runs a child helpline and provides therapeutic services to child victims of abuse and their families) has noted a 400% increase in the number of reported cases of child sexual abuse over the past 10 years. There are about 64,000 cases of reported sexual violence towards minors and young people annually.
- Crime and gangsterism influences all young people who live in economically marginalised communities
- 20% of adolescents have used some form of illegal narcotics
- 12% of children between the age of 15 and 19 have been pregnant
- 45% of students dropped out without completing their studies.
- Less than 50% of children who start school write their final high school examination.Every 10 minutes a woman gets raped, as per police statistics it is 86 adult women and 64 minors. Over 40% of these are to women under the age of 18.