Tech-savvy hub boost for children

Mthatha-based organisation Yakh’iphupha aims to provide access to technology and computer skills in rural and peri-urban communities.

The organisation was founded in 2015 by East London resident Palesa Mahlatji, who continues to run it to this day.

“We are trying to solve unemployment by equipping pupils learners with 4IR [Fourth Industrial Revolution] skills,” said Mahlatji.

Yakh’iphupha, according to Mahlatji, aims to provide a general hub for township and rural children from where they can learn a number of skills related to computers and technology. related skills.

In addition, they will also learn skills that will help better prepare them for their future in the business world, such as job readiness, preparedness, venture creation and business management.

GIVING BACK: Palesa Mahlatji is helping to foster 4IR skills in rural and township children through her organisation Yakh’iphupha
Picture: SUPPLIED

Mahlatji’s desire to help her community started when in Ggrade 12, she was involved in a near-fatal car accident. During her recovery process, she saw the difficulty teachers faced while working, especially those tasked with caring for special-needs students.

“After high school, I did pass but it wasn’t enough to secure me a bursary,” Mahlatji said.

She said it was difficult to find a job after graduating and she was often told to apply online, despite her school having no computers.

Mahlatji eventually landed a job in the banking industry, starting as a sales promoter and working for a number of different banks while she studied for her BCom degree.

“After completing my BCom, I decided it was time to follow my dream to return go back to my community and give back,” she said.

She then left her job and started Yakh’iphupha.

“It was so difficult, especially working in a township. When you want to start something, you just want to start and you don’t take into consideration things like ‘who am I starting this for’,” Mahlatji said.

In the beginning, Yakh’iphupha didn’t even have an office and instead operated out of a community centre.

In 2017, Mahlatji took part in the Red Bull Amaphiko Academy, an annual workshop that aims to provide grassroots social entrepreneurs with mentorship, coaching and assistance.

“For us, they give us a mentor that is dedicated to try and equip you with the skills that will help you running your business. They won’t give you money, but they will help you set up,” Mahlatji said.

Since its inception start in 2015, Yakh’iphupha has continued to grow and Mahlatji said she plans on taking it even further to “Africa and in beyond”.

“We started with five pupils, now we’ve got pupils coming in from schools all around us. We also go to schools and make visits when invited,” she said.

For more information, contact Mahlatji on 081-767-4895 or e-mail palesa@priyotech.co.za.

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