Because of the poor education system and virtually no job market in our community, many young people have dropped out of school and with few skills find themselves wandering aimlessly about with nothing to do. To address this issue the BI is in the process of creating a Rural Skills Centre which will teach useful and appropriate artisan skills to the youth in the Xhora Mouth area. Spearheading this initiative is JP van der Walt, a retired tradesman. Along with being a qualified electrician, JP has also gained a variety of skills over the decades including carpentry, metal working, plumbing, farming, building (both standard and cob building) as well as numerous other skills. He is the purveyor of the now legendary Rocket Showers at the Bulungula Backpackers.
JP has been sharing his skills and knowledge on an informal basis for the past few years, but now through the Rural Skills Centre, he can train the local youth in a formal, more structured manner. Through funding from the Community Workers Program, JP will train 3 apprentices over the period of a year in a variety of skills. Their first task: build the actual Rural Skills Centre using a Cob building technique that relies completely on local materials.
Once the project is up and running, it is expected to become self-sustaining through its various income generating activities.