BKB has started a sheep shearing project with young people from rural Eastern Cape. Their aim is to equip them with all the necessary skills to enter the shearing market and thereby grow the agricultural economy. Although many South African internship programmes experience a high drop-out rate, we believe that it is not the skills, opportunity or even the teachers that secures success, but the resilience and beliefs of the students themselves.
With that in mind, LifeXchange’s mission with this project is to do a series of workshops and counselling sessions in order to grow and stretch students. We see them finishing strong and entering the market as the best sheep shears in South Africa.
Who are the mentees?
The young people in this project do not take on the form of what we generally understand to be a mentee. He is rather regarded as a student that LifeXchange and BKB staff work closely with. These young people come mostly from rural communities within the Eastern Cape.
Who are the mentors?
There are no mentors assigned to students as they move between provinces a great deal. This makes it difficult for a mentor, based in one location, to connect face-to-face with his/her mentee. For this reason, LifeXchange has trained two full-time staff members as guidance counsellors, who live and move with the young shearers. The counsellors work with groups of 5 young people at a time, every week, for a three-month period in order to encourage, instruct and guide them on their journeys.
Benefits for Mentees
Equipped, resilient and effective sheep shearers that will earn income and start a career in the agricultural sector.
The future of the project
The first phase of this project has been successfully completed. Currently LifeXchange is seeking funding for the second phase.