Alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancies and high a unemployment rate are only some of the issues plaguing the community of Ncera.
In response, Amanda Sentwa and Masixole Kataza established an NGO in 2022, the Good Hope Development Centre, to assist and help develop the youth of Ward 31.
Sentwa manages the day-to-day operations of the NGO.
“When I saw young people of Ncerha village abusing alcohol, dropping out of school, and falling pregnant, this pushed me to come up with something that will challenge young people to work with their hands.
“The main purpose of the organisation is to develop young people by assisting learners with their schoolwork.
“We also teach them more about gardening for food,” said Sentwa.
Sentwa has also been nominated for this year’s Dispatch Local Heroes Awards for the work and impact she has made in her community through the NGO.
“I really thank God for this nomination.
“I am grateful there are people who recognise the work I am doing.
“It has also created some awareness for us, we now have more people bringing their children to the centre,” said Sentwa.
Kataza and Sentwa fund all the NGO’s projects from their own pockets, with a little help from the Small Project Foundation in the form of a small stipend for the young people involved.
Kataza said his dream was to help make a difference in the lives of the youth through the Good Hope Development Centre.
“I want to see young people receive good life opportunities.
“There is an idea that to make it in life and get good opportunities, one must leave home and go to the big city.
“I want our young people to move away from drugs and gain all the help they need.
“God has given us the strength, wisdom and resources to build future leaders who are confident,” said Kataza.
The produce from their gardening project is donated to members of the community.
A community member has given them land to use for their gardening project, however, they are still in need of fencing and extra gardening equipment, as they do not have enough.
Some of the other ways the organisation helps young people are through sports such as weightlifting and soccer, as well as through dance.
They currently have three teachers assisting young people from ages of nine to 33.