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The NYDA and Flemish Government Cooperation
4/19/2018
The NYDA/Flemish Cooperation programme is a partnership between the NYDA and the Flemish (Belgium) Government which mainly focuses on promoting a culture of volunteering among South African youth. The cooperation, which started in 2012, aims to support civil society organisations to engage youth in volunteer activities.  The cooperation focuses on four building blocks: Capacity Building, Knowledge Generation, Marketing & Communications as well as Lobbying and Advocacy.
 
During the past years of the cooperation, the following activities, amongst others, have been undertaken:
  • Knowledge Network Seminars on Youth Volunteering, each bringing together 100 representatives from civil society and government;
  • Research on Youth Perceptions and Motivations on Volunteering;
  • Development of online database for Volunteer Opportunities: www.myhandsandheart.org ;
  • Development of the Capacity Building Toolkit on Volunteer Management and translation into South African indigenous languages; Development of the Capacity Building Toolkit on Volunteer Management and translation into South African indigenous languages;
  • Training for civil society organisations on the Capacity Building Toolkit for in eight different provinces;Training for civil society organisations on the Capacity Building Toolkit for in eight different provinces;
  • Partnership with EPWP, Non-State Sector on funding civil society organisations for engaging volunteers.
Finding a job as a young person who is fresh out of university can be a daunting task. How do you convince an employer that you are the most capable candidate without the experience? How can you make your CV stand out from the rest? A simple answer to that question could be, become a volunteer and gain work experience whilst making a difference.
Volunteering can increase your chances of finding employment, if you do it strategically. By volunteering, you can network, develop personal capacity and get valuable professional experience. It helps you build your interpersonal skills and show employers that you can, for example, work in a team, are able to communicate well and can manage your time.
Here are some tips on how you can maximize your volunteering experience
  • Treat your time in the volunteering as you would in a professional workplace. Bust the myth that volunteering is not “real” work. Be punctual and do your job with great energy and enthusiasm.
  • Network!  When you volunteer you meet a lot of people along the way. These people form part of a network of potential mentors and employers. You never know who you’ll meet who can give you information about a job opening
  • Ask for a reference letter for you to use later in supplementing your CV. This testimony will help highlight and validate the skills you have learnt.
  • Take up different tasks. This way you can learn a variety of new things and discover what your interests and dislikes are.
  • Blog/write about your experiences whilst working as a volunteer.  Share what skills you have learnt and how you have used them. That will help you in building an “employer-friendly” online profile and also help with your writing skills.
  • Giving back to your community is something that can help you in more ways than one. It is an act of kindness that can boost your self-esteem. While you may not be earning some money, you will have a lot more to gain in the long-term.
Where can I find volunteering opportunities?
The NYDA has identified the need to take practical steps to increase youth volunteering because of the significant benefits that are likely to flow from involving young South Africans in volunteering and community service programmes. Research suggests that volunteering helps youth break the cycle of poverty by facilitating access to decent work.
This could therefore assist in alleviating South Africa's high unemployment levels which affect mostly young people. In addition, youth volunteering can develop young leaders to take responsibility, foster social cohesion, encourage greater citizen participation, generate respect for equality, promote diversity and develop individual and collective voices.
My Hands and Heart is a volunteering initiative that has partnered with the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) to connect young people with volunteering opportunities that are offered by credible organisations. Whether you are unskilled and looking to develop your personal capacity or an unemployed graduate looking to network, My Hands and Heart has the opportunity for you.
Volunteering opportunities can be tailored according to your interests and location. You may be interested in volunteering within the creative arts or more inclined towards animal protection and rescue, My Hands and Heart will link you up with existing opportunities in your area.
All you have to do is visit www.myhandsandheart.org and register your profile. Once that is done, you are able to browse and signup for any available volunteering opportunities. You can also subscribe to a list of organisations that are of interest to you such, as the NYDA, Pan African Youth Dialogue, ekasi Entrepreneurs and Gift of the Givers.
For more information on how you can get involved, contact My hands and Heart on info@myhandsandheart.org or call the NYDA on 0800 52 52 52
Up-scaling and Promoting Youth Volunteering in Civil Society Organisations Cooperation with Flemish Government
The NYDA has a long standing partnership with the Flemish Government on youth development. The cooperation between the NYDA and the Flemish Government on Upscaling and Promoting Youth Volunteering in Civil Society Organisations was launched in 2012 and recently, a new 5 year framework has been developed for 2015-2020, focusing on capacity building, knowledge generation, Marketing and Communication and, Lobbying and Advocacy.
The NYDA has identified the need to take practical steps to increase youth volunteering because of the significant benefits that are likely to flow from involving young South Africans in volunteering and community service programmes. Research suggests that volunteering helps youth break the poverty cycle by facilitating access to decent work.
This could therefore assist in alleviating South Africa’s high unemployment levels which affect mostly young people. In addition, youth volunteering can develop young leaders to take responsibility, foster social cohesion, encourage greater citizen participation, generate respect for equality, promote diversity and develop individual and collective voices.
The National Youth Development Agency wishes to thank the Flemish Government for their continued support to the youth development initiatives in South Africa. The Flemish Government will be visiting South Africa on Friday, 25 May 2018.