Life in South Africa is not without its challenges and the new generation of future leaders need courage to make that positive contribution to the future.An organisation helping to instill that courage is MOT South Africa, a registered and leading public benefit and non-profit organisation specialising in life skills development among the youth. With its programmes the organisation works with the youth in a structured learning environment, teaching young people to make conscious life choices that will enable them to develop to their full potential and to show courage.MOT hosted its annual general meeting in Pinelands last week and it was obvious that the project was making a major difference in the lives of young people across the peninsula.Wanda Moller, CEO, explains that their training programmes give young people the strength to manage peer pressure, to believe in themselves and to take responsibility for their own lives and future. “MOT (pronounced “moet”) is the Norwegian word for courage. We focus strongly on the development of self-confidence, sound values, positive attitude and behaviour, self leadership and to resect and care for others,” she says.“Our life skills education programmes are annually offered to 12 500 youth at all the TVET Colleges and 23 high schools in the Western Cape.“These programmes focus strongly on empowering the youth to make conscious choices, to develop their potential and to be active and responsible citizens and leaders among their peers and in their communities.” When some of the participants in the programme shared their experiences, it was easy to understand why the activities are a stepping-stone to success and empowerment.Amanda Qamngana, a student at College of Cape Town’s Wynberg campus, explains that it was difficult to put the experience in a nutshell.“I am one of the young people who face many challenges in life, but after I went to the Young MOTivators training camp, I came back a different person,” she says.“It has changed my life because now I am hungry for success, I am hungry for change and I want to be good in everything I do. “I’ve learned the importance of making my own choices with the courage to care and courage to love in a warm, safe, loving and fun environment. I met crazy but very smart individuals. “I am an introvert and I was so scared about how I was going to cope with meeting lots of new people, but I had the greatest time ever.” Pumela Mahleza, a Grade 10 learner at Buren High School, speaks about how the programme gave her the opportunity to embrace others. “The programme helps you to reflect on who you are as an individual, as a person and how you embrace others.” “It also helped me to adjust to high school better and gave me confidence to try and better myself in my school work. After I was in a car accident, I went through physical and emotional trauma, which caused me to close myself in.“MOT gave me a chance to re-evaluate my life and learn to live with new values. I have a sister who looks up to me and the programme has allowed me to be the best role model to her and my peers.” For more information about the organisation go to http://mot.org.za.