The Platfontein Project in South Africa
The Hilltop Empowerment Centre in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, has offered a six-month intensive training for twelve young people from Platfontein. Rommel Roberts, his wife Robin and their team of coaches have shown an outstanding engagement in training young people, giving them great new opportunities.
For six months, from March to August 2015, twelve participants stayed at Hilltop and were being trained in different subjects: computer literacy, support and repair, English, business skills, accounting, agriculture, animal husbandry, communication training.
The computers that are used for the training and will later be installed in the Platfontein Computer Centre are a donation which was given to Hilltop via Linux4Afrika. Three containers with donated hardware have been delivered to Hilltop by Linux4Afrika before and have been installed in different schools and centres by Hilltop.
The objective of the Platfontein Project is to qualify the young people so that they are able to earn their own living as well as contribute to the development of the whole community. They themselves have better job opportunities and may pass their skills on to other people by establishing small businesses, such as a computer centre, and so offer new perspectives to other people.
The impulse for the project was given during the international conference ZAFOR – Freedom our resposibility in Bloemfontein in September 2014, in which Rommel Roberts, manager of Hilltop, was taking part. Platfontein is a place near Kimberly where the tribes !Xun and Khwe live today, descendants of the San, the first people settling in Southern Africa. Beside their tribal languages they speak Afrikaans but no English. Platfontein is one of the poorest regions of South Africa.
The Platfontein Youth Empowerment Programme was initiated by the Lyndi Fourie Association in 2012 and has been supported especially by groups from Switzerland.
In September the young people returned to Platfontein. Together with the Hilltop crew they are going to establish a computer centre there. All other skills acquired during the Hilltop training should prove fruitful, too. In November there will be a Graduation ceremony in Platfontein (For more information see the Report of Rommel Roberts ).
The Linux4Afrika team hopes that the project goes on successfully for a long time, and whish you all the best!