Providing the right tools: Giving a Hand Up, not only a Handout

By Lynne Hendricks, Project Coordinator

Jewish Community Services pride ourselves at working on the continual upliftment of our vulnerable community members. We are always looking for creative ways to support our clients, and like many other communities, unemployment has become a major challenge. Elevating unemployment is not an easy task.

JCS is determined to see our clients succeed and have developed the WRAP programme, Wellness Recovery Action Plan, which is a plan designed and managed for the unemployed who can become employable, which in turn assists them to get their lives back on track. This programme is monitored by their Social Worker.

JCS have formed relationships and partnerships with Quantum Growth, who assists in analysing the client’s personality and skillset, and Staffwise have assisted JCS in developing the employment project and are approaching various local businesses for internships.

One such business is Woodhead’s, who have assisted in developing our employment programme. They are committed to being a part of the process, providing our clients with internships and work shadow opportunities. These opportunities help to get them back into the workplace by upskilling and helping them to rebuild their self-esteem and dignity.

We can now proudly say that this new JCS programme has officially broken ground, as our clients begin to follow the process to financial independence.

Staffwise work closely with us, managing, sourcing, and monitoring the process with the employers, helping to ease the client into each new placement, continuing to establish employment partnerships with other businesses. ORT Jet has also assisted us in reaching out to the SMEs market, that is part of their business network, to assist in
the internship programme as well.

Our JCS clients are ecstatic and can’t stop expressing gratitude for the opportunities presented to them through this innovative programme. They now have a purpose for each day, and through the stipend they are earning, they can provide for themselves and their families.

The internship gives us an opportunity to see firsthand what challenges the candidates face at work, be it technical or interpersonal skills. We then work with the individual intern to improve their performance, ensuring constant communication between the candidate and the employer, allowing for transparent and constructive feedback. This
is where the growth really happens.

Providing people with this opportunity is the greatest from of Tzedakah. “Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.”

Some feedback from a delighted employer: “We benefited by having someone assist and catch up with admin tasks that were falling behind, and having the extra support was of great benefit to us.”

Our clients have shown tremendous growth and upliftment from the programme: “At first, I was very nervous, then I used the Quantum Growth programme and I adapted, learnt to communicate and be part of a company. I am loving the experience. Earning is very important but learning new skills and being able to work has more value than you know.”

A further testament from a client: “I learnt a lot, I enjoyed waking up each day with a purpose. It was fantastic. Go for it. Submit, adapt, and shine.”

To learn more about the JCS Employment Programme or how you can help JCS help our clients, please contact the Project Coordinator, Lynne Hendricks, at the JCS office on 021 462 5520 or lynne@jcs.org.za

Jewish Community Services www.jcs.co.za

• Published in the August 2022 Digital Edition – Click here to read it.

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