South Africa’s youth should be active within their communities
Jivan Shunmoogam is stationed at the National Sea Rescue Institute’s (NSRI) base 27 in Gauteng where he does service as one of the rescue crew.
The NSRI is frequently seen carrying out ocean-based rescues and other operations but the volunteer rescue organisation is equally at home and operational on inland waters. Station 27 Gauteng, situated in Benoni, a town in Ekurhuleni municipality, is one of five inland stations operating around dams and rivers with the goal to prevent drowning through rescue operations, education and prevention initiatives.
Inland dams with the huge number of sailing and motorised vessels and rivers and waterways which swell and flow dangerously during heavy rains present a challenge for the NSRI.
Shunmoogam, 30, joined the NSRI in 2015 as a way to keep fit and assisting and giving back to the community by volunteering his spare time.
To date he has logged over 500 hours of volunteering time and said his role as one of the station crew means “we assist with callouts when there is flooding, and we assist with safety at Gauteng inland events”.
Events include school canoeing, two a month from January to October as well as the joberg2c mountain bike adventure, which usually takes place in April each year.
The joberg2c is the longest mountain biking stage race in South Africa and takes place over nine days and covers approximately 900 kilometres, from Heidelberg in Gauteng to Scottburgh on the KwaZulu-Natal coast.
“Sea Rescue assists the cyclists getting their bikes over the Vaal Dam,” he said.
Shunmoogam, who has studied Psychology and is currently studying Financial Accounting and runs his own waste management business.
“I love creating a legacy for future generations and that is one of the reasons I started my own business,” he said.
He also has a deep love for community which is why volunteering for the NSRI is such a perfect fit.
“I believe that the youth of South Africa should be active within their communities, which is why I love being a volunteer and helping others,” he said during the celebration of Youth Month in South Africa.
“The future of South Africa is in the youth’s hands and as a result we are responsible for ensuring that we carry this country to greater levels and heights,” he added. “I believe that everyone should get involved with an organisation that makes a positive difference to the community. There is no greater gift than being able to serve and give to those around you.”
June is celebrated as Youth Month in South Africa to remember the sacrifices of past generations of young people in the attainment of freedom and also to recognise the role of youth in shaping the future of the country. Youth Month 2020 was launched under the theme Youth Power: Growing South Africa together in the Period of COVID-19.
The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) is the charity organisation that saves lives on South African waters – both coastal and inland. The NSRI works to prevent drowning through rescue operations, education and prevention initiatives. The NSRI is totally reliant on donations and sponsorships in order to do the work of saving lives, changing lives, and creating futures. Visit www.nsri.org.za for more information.
The minimum age for joining the National Sea Rescue Institute as a trainee rescuer is 16 years of age. Some NSRI stations offer a junior academy where candidates are able to join in for some of the theory related training from age 12 onwards. On this basis, these candidates are able to become fully fledged rescue crew once they have passed the minimum number of sea hours and practical assessments shortly after turning 16 – due to the benefit of having completed most of the theoretical aspects sooner.
Please note, that as with any trainee and any volunteer – training conditions and expectations are appropriately matched to the candidate’s ability, to manage their safety.