Veterans taught new skills

Ntwaagae Seleka

Ntwaagae Seleka

A Gauteng non-governmental organisation has thrown a lifeline to unemployed former liberation army combatants to train as tutors in foreign languages.

Bosele Economic and Social Advancement Forum (Besaf) chairman George Phutiyagae said Besaf wanted to provide skills to unemployed former guerrillas.

"We have identified the Core International Language Project as an ideal vehicle to advance youth skills in foreign languages to allow them to compete in the labour market."

Besaf will train the former combatants in French, Russian, German, Italian, Mandarin, Swahili, Japanese, Portuguese and Greek.

"We want to train them so that they can teach our youth.

We want the youth to speak and read foreign languages so as to take advantage of unemployment opportunities during the 2010 Soccer World Cup and other festivities," he said.

Some of them were already familiar with these languages.

"The aim of the project is to remove language barriers that currently prevent interpersonal communication between locals and foreigners.

"Our approach is much more systematic, goes deeper and will be monitored, graded and certified by the Wits Language School."

So far 98 Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Associations members have registered and they were in negotiations with other former militants from other political parties to join their project.

Those trained would be posted as interpreters at stadiums, airports, police stations and various tourist destinations.