Sivuyile Youth Development Centre founder Brian Funda was among the prestigious guests who attended the 2019 Eastern Cape state of the province address (Sopa) that took place in Bhisho on Friday.
The centre which is a non-profit organisation, specialises in sport and skills development as well as art and culture and has played a huge role in developing sport in the Whittlesea area. Funda said it was the centre’s third invitation to the Sopa and believed that his unflagging enthusiasm and drive of wanting to equip young people with the necessary skills is what made him stand out from the rest and be chosen to attend the auspicious occasion.
“As someone working closely with the youth, I was looking forward to hearing what the premier had to say with regard to youth development and growth, knowing that we are facing a huge challenge of youth unemployment and education especially in our province. During premier Phumulo Masualle’s speech, I was happy to hear that NGOs will get support from the government because as stakeholders we are working towards the same goal of ensuring there is development in the province.”
Funda said the centre was facing the challenge of securing funding and these were among the issues he shared with Masualle during a one-on-one session. “The issue of money will obviously not stop me from pushing and making things happen. I am currently taking from my own pocket because what is most important is getting the work done and fulfilling the mission.”
He indicated that he was working on a few projects including a back to school program where he plans to donate 200 pairs of school shoes to 10 schools next month. “I have 100 pairs of shoes at the moment and I would be glad if anyone would assist to accumulate the number. I also have a career guidance and life skills initiative that I will be running. A youth festival is also in the pipeline in June.” He added that the centre was open to anyone who would like to assist.