PMB youngsters off to Switzerland as part of Imagine SA programme

2015-09-08 10:44
Amanda Ntshangase and Ntokozo Tono all set and ready to leave for Switzerland.

Amanda Ntshangase and Ntokozo Tono all set and ready to leave for Switzerland. (Ian Carbutt)

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PIETERMARITZBURG is flying high this month.

In addition to the 13 agriculture ­students who are currently in Denmark to further their studies in livestock farming, and Hermal Heeralal, the city’s “Karate kid” who will be leaving for ­India to participate in the Commonwealth Karate Championships next week, two lucky students will be jetting off today to Switzerland.

Amanda Ntshangase (18), who is ­currently doing her matric at KwaPata Secondary School and Ntokozo Tono (22), who is currently doing his first year of a Bachelor in Social Science at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, will be representing Imagine South Africa ­during a two-week stay in Switzerland where they will be discussing burning social issues, including xenophobia, with youth from other countries.

The programme will enable them to get to know each other, help each other in their work and develop a shared understanding of North-South relations.

Imagine South Africa is a non-government organisation (NGO), which deals with social based issues, including gender equality, discrimination, teen pregnancy and substance abuse.

“At first I did not believe that she was going to Switzerland until I was given papers to fill out,” said Nompulelo Ntshangase, Amanda’s mother.

“She’s never been out of the country before, so this is difficult for me, but I am grateful that she is being given this opportunity,” Ntshangase said.

“I get butterflies when I think about it,” said Amanda.

“I have never flown before. I am still a bit shaken and scared about this trip.”

Ntokozo has previously flown to Kenya on an exchange ­programme with the Imagine group there.

“I am really excited because I will see my friends from ­Kenya,” he added.

Both students are looking f­orward to their trip.

Ntokozo said, “We want to share with other countries how we as South Africans deal with social issues and how we manage to get the message across. We look forward to bringing back knowledge from our trip that will help our communities as well.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  youth

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