Building bridges between generations and passing on the baton of skill

One of the main objectives of 50plus-skills is to build bridges. Bridges between people wanting to learn new things, meeting others, mixing with different cultures and making a difference to society. We are a social enterprise, and this is a fundamental part of our mandate.

I am privileged to engage with many of our individual members and our NPO partners. Today, I want to share with you four projects that warm my heart and give me a sense of hope for the future.

1. Craig Rowe leads CDR Equipping. For 22 years Craig together with his church have designed and developed a Holiday Club Program. This past week this program was happening in Muldersdrift. This is what they have accomplished over the past 21 years. Young people who led and served over the last 21 Holiday Bible Clubs are leading in Government, Ministry, Health, Business, Education, Social Development, Housing, Sport, Entertainment and many other sectors. The process is one of young leaders, spending time looking after and engaging with young children in the region. This past week 60 young leaders did this for 327 primary school children.

2. Brenda Scrooby a member from Modimolie had just started a 13-month process as the Learning Process Facilitator for Partners for Possibility. This process will see 8 community/business leaders paired with 8 school Principals in the area to help transform these schools and impact the Educators, learners and parents. In this region, the project is sponsored by DBSA who are also working with 50plus-skills.

3. Margie Van Zyl Chapman, who runs an organisation called Take the Lead-living well, ageing well. Margie does a series of workshops for caregivers to train them on the skills needed to keep their older patients active and mobile. This is making a massive difference to both groups

4. George Snoek is employed by The Appliance Bank, We recruit unemployed men (preferably fathers) and give them the technical skills needed to repair damaged and customer- returned small appliances that we receive from our retail partners (Clicks, Checkers and Home of Living Brands).

These are 4 of our individual members working with 4 of our NPO Partners. It is about connection, collaboration, dialogue and finding new and innovative ways to build capacity in our Nation. Together we can dream of and do so much more than we can on our own.

We all should understand that we have been gifted with an extra season of life, have skills and passion for a specific sector that warms our heart. Come and join us to learn how to do this for yourself and for your organisation. There are fantastic NPO’s doing amazing work. There are many generous, skilled and time rich older citizens. Place these two together and we can make the changes we need to make this country great.