JUNIOR Achievement South Africa is among the few youth development organisations that seem to be heeding author J Allen Boone's
poignant observation about nurturing.
From his book, Kinship With All Life, comes this apt remark by Boone: "The most effective way to achieve right relations with any living thing is to look for the best in it, and then help that best into the fullest expression."
Junior Achievement South Africa, which is a part of Junior Achievement World- wide and one of 17 such organisations in Africa, prepares young people for life after school by raising their awareness of economic issues, teaching them entrepreneurial and life skills and then providing them with an understanding of the business world.
Most of the participants are in Grades 10 to 12. A few are in grades 3 to 5. Out of school youths are also catered for. Between 1979 and last year, the organisation touched positively the lives of more than 380 youths.
Among them is popular radio talk show host and inspirational fundraising long-distance runner Thabiso Sikwane.
The programmes include:
l Banks in Action for pupils in Grades 10 to 12. It explores the banking sector, how a bank functions and careers in banking with a computer simulation exercise of running a "real" bank;
l Enterprise Dynamics Programme introduces pupils to the concepts of the economic life of families, communities and countries;
l Junior Achiever in a Day introduces participants to entrepreneurship through a number of interventions over a period of about three hours;
l Junior Achiever Titan - is a seven-hour programme introducing pupils to critical economics and management decisions through interactive simulations;
l Junior Achiever SA BankSeta Career Day is a career workshop for parents, pupils and teachers;
l Job Shadow Programme is a one to two-day workplace-based general career exploration programme;
l MMBiz is a seven-week programme that develops youths' ability to analyse their motivations about the uses of money and establish good financial habits;
l The Economic Impact of the HIV-Aids pandemic. This is a three-hour module exploring the financial and economic impact of the HIV-Aids pandemic on the family, communities and the nation as a whole;
l Mini-Enterprise Programme is an 11-week intensive business programme in which youths start and run their own businesses;
l Cambridge Examination. After completing the Mini-Enterprise Programme, candidates write this examination. It is an internationally-recognised entrepreneurial qualification of the Cambridge University in the UK;
l It's My Business is a six-week entrepreneurship programme focusing on social studies, reading, and writing skills;
l JA Success Skills is a five-week programme preparing young people for entry into the workplace by covering crucial issues such as self-assessment, communication skills, job interviews and team work;
l JA Youth Council comprises Junior Achiever SA graduates whose tasks include formulating newsletters, marketing the organisation's work to schools, designing competitions and conducting training. Suitable for pupils in Grades 10 to 12;
l Job Shadow Internship Programme is a a 10-day holiday company-based internship programme exploring possible careers catering for pupils in Grades 10 to 12 and out of school youth aged up to 25;
l More Than Money is a six-hour programme for pupils in Grades 3 to 5, which teaches participants about earning, spending, sharing, and saving money;
l Travel and Tourism Business Programme is a ten-week programme designed to develop an understanding of the tourism industry.