Investec - Westbury Youth Centre Project
Matric Programme and More
The Westbury Youth Centre is a hub of empowerment, creativity and entrepreneurial life!
Everyone in the Westbury Community knows the importance of the centre, the value it brings to the community and the impact it makes.
The Westbury Youth Centre started with a vision by none other than the Principal of Westbury High School, Dr Robinson – a visionary and a mentor.
The vision was for a Community Youth Centre that the community could call their own, but more importantly, a place that they could take care of their own and take care of their future.
This remained but a dream until a time when there would be hands to make the dream a reality.
Reggie Botha was a student when he heard the dream of Dr Robinson, and today the dream is realised as Reggie’s hands, took hold of many more hands that shared the same dream for the community!
The Westbury Youth Centre operates from a section of the Westbury High School on a piece of land with an office block, a lovely piece of ground, as well as a hostel.
The Centre offers social support to the youth as well as to other members of the community – but it doesn’t stop there. The centre also offers other programmes that provide a silver lining for many youth and others in the community.
Some of the programmes offered:
Computer Training, Economic Inclusion Incubator, Community Garden, Hard Skills, Media Lab, Music Production, Online Writing, Performing Arts, Tech Lab, Voice Training and WYC Radio.
One of the “wishes” of the school/centre was to put a Matric Programme in place, which would assist the learners to achieve better grades and prepare them for the final examinations.
The Programme would require the matric learners from Westbury High School to stay at a hostel away from all distractions and temptations, receive 3 daily nutritious meals, assisted study slots, as well as kind but strict discipline needed to achieve the desired results from each learner. This would happen a month before each exam period.
Investec loved the idea of being able to give the learners this kind of opportunity and the CSI Department committed to assisting the school/centre in developing this plan.
The Investec CSI Department worked with RAK Events – their implementing partner to get this project off the ground.
The block allocated for the hostel had to be completely renovated before any learners could move in. There was much work to do.
RAK Events managed the entire process from start to finish using the Investec Volunteer Programme to involve employees in this exciting project.
The girls’ section, boys’ section and all bathrooms had to be stripped and completely made over.
Walls were repaired, plastered and painted, old vinyl floor tiles were pulled up and ceramic tiles were laid, windows were fixed, doors and door handles were replaced, blinds were hung, and bathrooms were completely stripped and redone.
The Investec volunteers got involved in the whole process of renovating the hostel from start to finish!
Volunteer Days were set up by the RAK Team to put the skills of the volunteers to work.
The RAK team also designed other activities for the volunteers like assembling the custom made double bunks for each room, laying the new mattresses and making up each bed with new linen, assembling the pre-cut wood to make study desks, arty motivational sayings for each of the room doors, planting trees on the grounds of the hostel, planting tyre flower beds, making tyre furniture, cooking nutritious meals for the learners, and the list could go on and on.
This was a project that was developed over 3 years and did not end at the renovation of the hostel.
RAK Events, together with Investec CSI and the Investec Employee Volunteer Programme, was also responsible for the renovation of the office area, Entrepreneurship Programmes at the Centre, Ready To Work Programmes, CV Skills Workshops, garden planting and other creative concepts such as the Bottle Cap Wall Art Activity, Making of wooden pallet boxes and making of wooden canvass art boards which are hung up in the learners rooms.
It was a pleasure for RAK Events to be instrumental in a project that would ultimately improve the grades of the learners as they have somewhere comfortable to live and study, nutritious meals to eat and vigorous study slots.
The Programme has been up an running for 3 years and is still making a difference in the lives of the Matric learners.