Leading fibre provider Vuma has partnered with the Safe-Hub in Alexandra to kick-start its soccer-led PlayMaker mentorship and life skills programme, designed to equip the township’s young people with sustainable skills for a better future.
The PlayMaker programme connects with the area’s youth through a two-phase approach, which focuses on the support and development of young people. Its key focus is a 12-month programme for 13 young adults between the ages of 18 and 25, designed to cultivate skills such as mentorship and training facilitation alongside an NQF Level 4 sports administration course.
These 13 programme members are in turn involved with the EduFootball programme, which includes the ‘Get in the Game’ programme for five to 10 year olds, teaching the basics of movement on the soccer field; ‘Go for it’ for 10 to 16 year olds, which includes more formal soccer coaching as well as life skills and planning for their futures; and finally ‘Make your Play’, which includes a soccer league as well as employability and entrepreneurship training.
Theodore ‘X’ Vena, the Programme Manager at Safe-Hub Alexandra, believes in the programme’s power to attract young people through the magic game of football, to help them dream big and realise their full potential.
“I benefited from a similar programme, and I’ve returned to PlayMaker at Safe-Hub to give back to the Alexandra community, because I know how easy it is to lose hope – but how important it is to dream about a better life, and to have access to the tools needed to make that better life happen,” he says.
Much of the education material accessed by the PlayMakers is shared via the internet, making Safe-Hub a fitting partner for Vuma’s support and sponsorship. Content shared online includes sessions provided by a partnering Bundesliga team based in Hoffenheim, Germany, life Skills programmes, CV writing, internal Safe-Hub training programmes and a Sports Administrations Course provided by ETA College. There are also Safe-Hubs in Khayelitsha, Gugulethu, Manenburg, Diepsloot, and Jabulani, with locations in Tembisa and Knysna opening by the end of the year, too.
Thokozile Mkosi, one of the PlayMakers mentors in its 2021 intake, says, “Being able to participate in the PlayMaker programme gives me hope for a better life, and it’s given me opportunities to connect with inspiring people all over the world. I’m planning to study sports management further, once the programme is complete, and I look forward to exploring this field even more in the future.”
“Vuma is passionate about supporting and creating opportunities throughout the communities that we operate in, particularly those that provide sustainable, long-term benefits to South Africans. We are proud to be a partner to Safe-Hub and support them in their grassroots programmes.,” says Lianne Williams, Head of Marketing at Vuma.
“Meaningful initiatives like Safe-Hub equip South Africa’s young people with the skills they need to secure and possibly create their own work opportunities. Vuma’s value extends beyond supplying infrastructure to communities – we’re partnering with them to change lives for the better,” she says.