Youth Day – Invest today to benefit tomorrow
“Today’s young people are the rising stars of a better tomorrow,” says Thania Dhoogra, operations manager of N3 Toll Concession (N3TC), the company which manages the N3 Toll Route between Cedara in KwaZulu-Natal and Heidelberg in Gauteng.
The N3 Toll Route cuts through vast tracks of rural land, dotted by small towns and even smaller communities and villages, where opportunities for young people are often limited.
N3TC, through its Touching Lives Programme, helps to create additional education and development opportunities for these rural stakeholders.
“As we celebrate Youth Day, and the role of young South Africans in the liberation of our country, it is fitting to also reflect on the current challenges they face, and the available opportunities for them to develop and grow,” explains Ms Dhoogra.
Transport corridors such as the N3 Toll Route often provide the impetus to sustainable economic growth and the alleviation of poverty through infrastructure development, the creation of employment opportunities, skills development, and the growth of business nodes along such corridors. In response to the challenges of rural living, N3TC has partnered with local communities to address some of the education and skills development needs in our region.
Young people are the custodians of our future
Young people hold the keys to our shared future in their hands and N3TC is honoured to play a part in helping them to thrive.
“We are mindful of the fact that access to education is a critical factor to ensuring future sustainability. In this regard, N3TC prioritises funding to educational institutions that demonstrate excellence in the provision of quality education, Early Childhood Development (ECD) programmes as well as building capacity in science, technology, engineering and math,” explains Ms Dhoogra.
This is achieved through a variety of initiatives which range from providing learner-focused interventions, to the provision of supplementary academic enrichment programmes, learning resources, educational staff training programmes and bursaries.
There is no doubt that education underpins South Africa’s economic and political stability. A solid educational footing not only benefits individuals, but also provides a spark to the transformation of communities, societies and our nation as a whole.
Dare to dream
Rural young people are keen and motivated to improve their knowledge and gain a worthwhile education, but they are often hampered by the mammoth challenges they must overcome to achieve success. These may include long travel distances to schools and back, a lack of basic infrastructure and services, or other family responsibilities that may distract from their schoolwork.
Often parents and adults are unable to grasp the educational burden placed on children, nor are they in a position to help to their children due to their own precarious positions or demanding situations. It is, therefore, essential to support programmes which aid in the development, education and nurturing of children, and which help to grow their curiosity, inventiveness and resilience.
“Through quality education young people can do more than dream; they actually stand a reasonable chance of realising their dreams,” reiterates Ms Dhoogra.
This Youth Day, N3TC acknowledges the willingness, energy and ability of our youth to tackle current challenges, and their perseverance in finding innovative ways to address new dilemmas. May you continue to grow from strength to strength and to be brave, adaptable, resilient, inclusive, kind and accountable.