A group of youngsters from Bonteheuwel are taking it upon themselves to uplift the youth in their community and also instil a sense of pride by doing odd jobs around the area.
Resident Shuaib Sayhn says: “About three weeks ago, I approached a group of youngsters in the area to do odd jobs around the area instead of sitting on the corner and taking part in other things.
“I want to teach them that selling drugs or gangsterism is not the only option for them and that doing work like cleaning bins, yards, washing cars and cutting grass can give them valuable experience and skills to be used in the future.”
Currently, the group of seven, aged between 16 and 21, are based in Apricot Street and clean the dirt bins once a week as well as wash cars.
“Every week on Thursday, the boys clean the bins after the council comes to fetch the dirt and we charge R10 but residents can also do a contract for R50 which means they will pay R5 every time the boys come to clean,” says Shuaib.
“Not only do they clean the bins but they also sweep the driveway and if the people have grass, then they also do some light gardening.
“The money we charge goes straight to the boys as a monthly salary to teach them financial literacy and I also draw up a sort of job report that they can use as a reference for their CVs.”
Shuaib, 34, says he hopes their numbers will grow because eventually they want open more businesses so that more youngsters can be hired.
“We only have boys now but we have identified a few girls that we want to sign up.
“We want these kids to grow up to be good examples and role models for the community.
“We are looking into selling fruit and vegetables as well.”
Faygan Smith says it was an easy decision for him and his friends to do the odd jobs.
The 17-year-old says they want to create employment opportunities for the youth: “Doing maintenance work now can also help me get jobs in the future because I am learning how to deal with people and how to properly handle my money.”