RESEARCH PROJECT HELPS SHED LIGHT ON SKILL SETS
A social development research project, in the small Northern Cape’s town of Loeriesfontein, has helped to shed light on the community’s prevailing gender dynamics and interests. The study found that residents have a strong interest in practical skills-based fields, resulting in the introduction of school programmes that are align with the community’s interests, allowing learners to cultivate and improve their skills.
“The community is home to skilled workers who earn their livelihood through sheep farming, carpentry, and masonry. However, despite their practical expertise, many lack the qualifications for their desired professions, which is why we are helping to introduce school programmes that cater to their interests and abilities. It is our hope that these programmes will enable learners to turn their passions into careers,” stated Vanessa Fredericks, Economic Development Manager for Loeriesfontein and Khobab Wind Farms, which funded this extensive research project.
Loeriesfontein High School has expanded its agricultural, drama, gymnasium, and reading departments this year with the assistance of Neuro-Link, the implementing partners. These interventions are helping to provide learners with more exposure and attention in new fields and areas of interest, as revealed by the research. Furthermore, Neuro-Link is employing members of the local community to help with the implementation of this project.
This research project was conducted amongst young women and men, and has generally helped improve the understanding of gender relations. Implemented by local youth, under the guidance of the University of the Free State, the project aimed to promote gender equality and has already helped to ensure that social projects implemented in this community are suitable and encourage sustainable development that empowers young women.
“Participating in this research has been an important step towards creating an inclusive environment where women, like myself, can pursue their ambitions without limitations,” concluded one of the research participants, Marita Kammies.