Raisethorpe pupil to attend global summit

2017-07-05 06:02
PHOTO: Makhosandile zuluFather Lubabalo Nyonkana, Yamkela Nyokana and mother Nontobeko Nyonkana.

PHOTO: Makhosandile zuluFather Lubabalo Nyonkana, Yamkela Nyokana and mother Nontobeko Nyonkana.

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A 13-YEAR-OLD Raisethorpe Secondary Grade 8 pupil, Yamkela Nyokana has been invited to attend an educational and cultural exchange summit at Harvard University from July 19 to 26.

Yamkela will be an ambassador of peace and friendship among many international ambassadors at the summit.

“The opportunity makes me excited and scared at the same time because I’ve never been away from my family for a long time.

“Now I’m going to be away for seven days, alone in a another country,” Yamkele said.

She said she is excited because she will meet new people and experience a world different to hers at home.

Yamkele said she hopes to gain valuable knowledge at the summit so that on her return she can offer her peers and classmates advice on leadership, maintaining peace and growing meaningful and lasting relationships.

She said she was given two assignments­ in preparation for the summit one of which is, firstly, she should offer solutions on addressing poverty and hunger, specifically among young people, and secondly, compile a timeline of their accomplishments thus far.

“To address starvation among children I would encourage everyone, especially those who can afford to do so, to donate not only money and food parcels, but their time to help starving children, and not only for one day, but make more time to do this,” Yamkele said.

Her accomplishments include overcoming her fear of attending high school because she thought it would be filled with bullies.

Her other accomplishment is being nominated as the second representative of the council of learners.

“There’s a bit of family history about this. Yamkela’s elder sister also attended the summit in 2010 after her teacher nominated her to attend, but that year the summit was in New York.

“In 2011, another of her sisters attended the summit in Washington,” Yamkela’s father Lubabalo Nyokana said.

He said this resulted in Yamkela be invited to the summit.

“This should serve as inspiration for children who are Yamkela’s age, though she had fears and was slightly panicked that his daughter would be alone so far away.”

Her father encouraged young South Africans to take advantage of opportunities that were ushered in by democracy and said his daughter’s accomplishments made him a proud father.

“Just to show you how proud he is, he said although our finances were tight, come hell or high water, he would make sure that Yamkele also gets the chance to attend the summit,” said Yamkela’s mother Nontobeko.

Yamkele’s message to her peers is: “You must persevere in everything you do.

“Do not look down on yourself and always believe in yourself because what you dream of can come true.”

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