The South African Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini toured the Cardinal Hume Centre today (Friday, September 9th) to find out about the challenges facing people in the UK who are homeless or living in poverty.
Ms. Bathabile was particularly interested in the work the Centre does with the 32 young homeless people who live in its hostel accommodation. She acknowledged that they face similar problems to the young people in the urban areas of South Africa.
As part of her tour Ms. Bathabile heard about the Centre’s coaching approach to working with young people which enables them to make informed choices about how to rebuild their lives. While at the Centre they learn the basics of independent living while thinking about their future careers. Some choose to go into education or on training programmes while others go straight into employment.
Ms. Bathabile said: “I am really impressed with Centre. You need a safe space that is non-judgemental for young people from 16 to 21 and you need to make it relevant to their stages of development and I think this kind of set up would work well in South Africa”, said Ms. Bathabile.
The Minister met one of the young residents Lisa Smith who explained that she was now working in a nursery and doing National Vocational Qualifications and one day wanted to travel the world as a nanny.