The Aurum UnlockD Initiative is a collaborative project between The Aurum Institute and UnlockD, a youth talent development business focused on preparing young job seekers to kick-start their careers.
The project aims to leverage youth unemployment to decrease the spread of HIV and TB through a holistic program which provides youth with a 1-year learnership focused on integrated skills development and work experience.
The rationale for The Aurum Institute's ongoing support for the project is two-fold. Firstly, the project provides our health teams with more youth to reach our targets, particularly surrounding the 90:90:90 paradigm. Secondly, and most significantly, the project gives disenfranchised youth an opportunity to become employable by working with talented staff from The Aurum Institute in an environment that is conducive to their growth. You will find that there is a direct link between disenfranchised youth and high levels of HIV and TB. So by valuing and supporting this project, we indirectly reduce HIV among youth by changing their lives and making them HIV ambassadors in their communities.
As we wrap up 2018 with already 5 months into the project, let's recap on the past few months:
- At present, we have 70 learners overall based in Ekurhuleni and Bojanala.
- By January 2019, our aim is to have 150 learners gaining work experience at our sites.
- As we kicked off November 2018, the Aurum UnlockD project was invited to the Eusebius McKaiser #702 Job Summit, and Chonice Le Roux (an UnlockD learner) represented the project exceptionally well.
- We have had numerous success stories, with a number of learners finding permanent employment either with Aurum or other Companies in their industries of interest. Read Chonice’s success story.
As 2019 quickly approaches us, we're already looking forward to achieving these exciting goals:
- Developing a more holistic learnership journey to ensure that learners become leaders by the end of their 1-year journey.
- Aligning the project more deeply with the Sustainable Development Goals. The project directly aligns with 8 of the 17 goals, namely: no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, decent work and economic growth, reduced inequality, and partnerships to achieve the Goals.
- Scaling up the project even further to impact the lives of even more youth and to provide Aurum and other healthcare organisations with more soldiers to collectively combat HIV and TB.
My Success Story: Chonice Le Roux
Chonice Le Roux is an UnlockD learner who has spent the last 2 months of the work experience component of her SETA at The Aurum Institute, working as a project assistant. Within little time she has grown significantly and she is proof of the impact and success of this project.
Who is Chonice?
I am a 24-year-old previously unemployed youth. After matric, I was not able to study because of my family’s economic status. I applied for many bursaries but never got accepted. I was unemployed with no income to help support my family and contribute financially. I was determined to find a job but I felt demotivated and frustrated because I applied to many jobs and got no response.
When did you begin your journey at UnlockD?
I commenced my journey at UnlockD in early February 2018. I wrote an assessment test and was called to start my induction shortly after the assessment. I am on an End User Computing SETA. I began my training at UnlockD itself in the data capturing department. After a few months, I became a team leader in that department. In June, I moved to the HR Admin department where I gained experience on the capturing of leave and advising fellow learners on how to apply for a certain type of leave. I was also in charge of all outsourced learners involving different clients.
What do you do at The Aurum Institute and what have you learnt?
Currently, as part of the job experience component of my SETA, I am working at The Aurum Institute in Parktown, Johannesburg, which is the head office of the company. The Aurum Institute is a leading healthcare organisation that has been successfully battling the joint scourge of the HIV and TB for over 20 insightful years. I started at Aurum 2 months ago and I am working as a project assistant. I have learnt how to do an advanced project plan by means of training and proper planning techniques. Most importantly, I have learnt about the impact of the Sustainable Development Goals and what an important role it plays in our daily lives and how we can use them as guidelines to improve our country. I am glad to say that working with Farai Mubaiwa (Junior Project Manager) on the Aurum UnlockD Project has really made me realise that as a young person there is still much more we can do to encourage and support our fellow peers.
We can reach out to the same disadvantaged communities we come from by educating them about healthcare and health systems. My experience at The Aurum Institute has been truly amazing thus far. Never in my life would I have imagined myself addressing a board of directors to tell them about my life journey and what I hope to gain from this project. It has educated me in the sense of awareness of HIV and TB and how we as young people can change the destiny of Africa as a whole and reduce numbers in the high-risk areas of HIV and TB.
What are your dreams and goals?
My dream was initially to become a Nurse but since I joined this project it has really opened my eyes to a different purpose. I would like to pursue my studies in healthcare. My dream now is to serve my community and empower women. My dream is also to open doors for young people to access opportunities to better themselves and the lives of their families.
What is your hope for this project?
My hope for this project is to grow and empower even more young people to work hard towards their own greatness. My greatest hope for this project is to decrease HIV amongst unemployed youth and to encourage youth who are HIV positive to not be ashamed of their status and to seek medical help to live longer and achieve greater.
What is your advice to other young people who are going through the Aurum UnlockD journey?
Fellow learners, I would like to encourage you to embrace this Journey. It might be unusual and difficult in the beginning, but allow this experience to empower you and motivate you to better yourself. As young people, we have a greater responsibility to lead our country and the health sector to greater, greener pastures and to create impactful breakthroughs.