Amathole prisons’ drive to inspire youth

Taking SA forward theme of June 16 event

INSPIRING TALK: Stutterheim DCS official Vuyiswa Gwaza motivates the audience with words of encouragement during a Youth Month commemoration event at Steve Biko centre last week Picture: DESMOND COETZEE

THE Amathole Management Area of the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) hosted a youth month commemoration event in the form of youth dialogues at the Steve Biko Centre in Ginsberg last week.

They were represented by 50 officials and youth from five correctional centres namely Middledrift, Grahamstown, Fort Beaufort, Stutterheim and King William’s Town.

The theme of the event was: “Youth Taking South Africa Forward” and the women adhered to the dress code by wearing black with a black doek on their heads.

Programme director and employee assistant practitioner said the day had started off with a tour through the historical monument and DCS youth officials debates focused on youth empowerment and solutions to today’s challenges, such as inclusive participation and transformation in the work place.

“The topics discussed were: the future of young people in the public service and DCS; the value added by young people, future plans/strategies for those who take over the baton and lead the DCS/public service and the country,”  Bonda  said.

DCS Amathole management area official, Mkhululi George, gave a background on June 16 1976, when the youth stood up for themselves and changed the course of history in South Africa.

“The youth of today is overcome by peer pressure such as to drink alcohol, smoking, taking drugs or have sex just to fit in, but today I want to advise you to be able to stand up for yourself and say no to all those social ills,” he said.

He then quoted Nelson Mandela by saying: “It is easy to break down and destroy, the heroes are those who make peace and build”.

Stutterheim correctional centre official Vuyiswa Gwaza gave his message of support to what George had said.

“Our national youth theme is ‘Own your space’ and ours is ‘Taking South Africa Forward’,” Gwaza said.

“Our vision as a department is to be one of the best in the world in delivering correctional services with integrity and commitment to excellence.”

She added: “In 1976 youth fought for liberation in all spheres of life and today our youth is liberated and should occupy space and never underestimate their potential and capabilities.

“The future is in your hands and you are empowered, highly skilled and you are advanced in technology which makes you a future leader of the correctional services, or minister of correctional services or the president of South Africa,” she said.

She quoted Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you and plans to give you hope and a future”.

Her speech was followed by items of song and dance by the Steve Biko centre Abelusi group, who performed to much excitement.

Then followed a tour guide of the centre before concluding with lunch.



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