Graduation at Chrysalis Academy

Fifteen of the women who graduated will also be placed in an all-female fire-fighting team at Chrysalis Academy.

More than 200 women who come from all over the Western Cape graduated at the Chrysalis Academy in Tokai at the weekend.

The Chrysalis Academy is a provincial government youth-development project that runs a three-month residential programme for 18 to 25-year-olds.

The three-month residential programme includes life skills, time spent outdoors, vocational and work readiness training plus therapeutic care aimed at supporting youth at a psychosocial level.

According to Joshua Covenant Chigome, spokesman for Social Development MEC Sharna Fernandez, the course builds resilience and skills and helps the students – many of whom are unemployed – find further learning opportunities and work experience, including an internship with the Expanded Public Works Programme.

The graduation ceremony on Saturday November 23 was attended by close to a thousand family members, and dignitaries, including Ms Fernandez.

“The students have shown great resilience to complete the programme. I am excited that despite the majority of the students being unemployed at the start of the programme, 100% will be placed at various institutions across the province,” she said.

That included, she said, the first all-women firefighting crew, comprising 15 women, to be stationed at the Chrysalis Academy as from Monday.

“We wish them every success,” said Ms Fernandez.

The Chrysalis Academy was founded in 2000. It’s open to youth who have at least Grade 9, no criminal record and live in the Western Cape.

Close to 10 000 youth have graduated from the academy since 2000.