Some of Cape Town’s townships have grinding levels of poverty that can trap youth. For example, in Nyanga Township where Etafeni Trust works, 72% of adults (over 18) are unemployed and HIV prevalence is 29%. The unemployment levels in nearby Vrygrond are even higher, with long lines of men waiting on the side of the road for work each morning and many young women resorting to prostitution to earn income. Etafeni Trust has two multi-purpose centers in Nyanga and Vrygrond offering a variety of programs to improve health, wellbeing, and livelihoods including: care for AIDS-affected and other vulnerable children, income generation for HIV+ women, voluntary counseling/testing and TB screening, nutrition, rehabilitation and counseling and social work.
With EMpower’s third grant, the Etafeni Trust is continuing to strengthen the Fit for Life, Fit for Work (FLFW) program as well as pilot an expansion of its employment readiness support to a cohort of secondary school students in Nyanga. Etafeni will also encourage budding entrepreneurs within the regular FLFW program to seek self-employment with the support of business mentoring and micro-grants.