Young volunteers set to empower communities through technology
Young volunteers set to empower communities through technology (Photo Credit: Vodacom)

To help advance youth economic empowerment, Vodacom has given a facelift to Vodacom Change the World by relaunching the program as an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and youth volunteerism initiative.

Vodacom Change the World will now focus on creating work experience opportunities for young people, who in turn will use their skills and time to give back to their communities through the non-profit organizations (NPOs) of their choice.

Selected candidates will be placed at an NPO of their choice for a year and Vodacom will ensure that they are well remunerated.

On Thursday, a group of 20 young professionals were announced as the 2017 intake at the Gallagher Estate in Midrand.

The programme will enhance skills development mainly through the placement of human capital as opposed to the traditional method of grants and sponsorship. This ensures the sustainability of programmes, skills transfer and the longevity and survival of the NPO sector long after the volunteer has left.

The Vodacom Change the World programme was introduced in 2011, giving individuals the opportunity to volunteer their time and skills to work for an NPO for 12 months. To date, 111 volunteers have already made a difference through their placement in a wide range of NPOs.

“The youth of 2017 is fighting for freedom from poverty, inequality and unemployment and to help alleviate their plight, Vodacom has decided to respond with a specific programme to assist the youth.,” CEO for Vodacom Group Corporate Affairs, Takalani Netshitenzhe says.

“I am pleased to see that many young females are being placed on the programme and their task is to ensure that more young females are empowered through digital literacy and skills. The ICT sector will be a key delivery agent in the attainment of the sustainable development goals and it is encouraging that so many youth has shown interest in the program.”

Once the year is complete, the 20 youth will be armed with vital work experience, enhanced skills and access to networks that will see them enter the marketplace or even start their own companies.