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Sixteen young South Africans aged between 18 and 29, and from diverse backgrounds, will spend the next year learning to speak fluent German whilst gaining practical work experience in the health care sector before heading to Germany to embark on an exciting three-year programme enabling them to become fully-fledged nurses. What’s more, this fully funded programme comes at no cost to the youngsters participating.

Upon completion of the programme in Germany, participants will return to South Africa with a nursing qualification that will enable them to lead the ‘brain-gain’ for our country and the healthcare sector in particular. The pilot phase commenced on Monday 1 April 2019.

The uNowanga programme is the brainchild of Maximilian Matschke and his team of ‘Solutionists’. In partnership with the internationally renowned first aid and health care nonprofit organisation St John, the project aims to tackle youth unemployment in South Africa and the lack of care workers in Germany. By the year 2030, Germany will have vacancies
for an estimated 300 000 caregivers. At the same time, half of South African youth are unemployed. Opportunity knocks!

One of the key challenges South Africa currently faces is the skills crisis, coupled with crippling youth unemployment and the ‘brain-drain’ phenomenon. The uNowanga / St John South Africa project aims to make a tangible difference in the lives of the youngsters, the people they will be caring for and ultimately South Africa.

The name ‘uNowanga’ is taken from the African languages isiZulu and isiXhosa – it means the White Stork. The White Stork is a migratory bird traveling between Southern Africa and Central Europe depending on the season. They bring good to the countries they visit. The participants of uNowanga will be doing the same.

The launch event is set to be begin at 15h30 for 16h00 on Wednesday 10th April 2019 at Glenshiel, 19 Woolston Road in Westcliff, Johannesburg.