Agroup of 25 learners graduated on Monday 16 January, after completing a learning initiative to equip themselves with vital life and future skills.
The 10-day programme, from Friday 6 to Monday 16 January, was conducted by Educo Africa (a youth organisation with its main focus on youth development) in collaboration with Ambassadors of Change (a non-profit organisation that promotes growth and youth upliftment) and funded by the Department of Culture Affairs and Sport.
The first phase of the programme uses wilderness experiential learning as a profound platform for young people to experience their inherent potential.
The second phase is a youth movement supporting young people in living their potential, with a specific focus on social and environmental well-being.
On Monday 16 January, participants received certificates for completing the course
Lali Mili, Educo Africa’s CEO, said part of the training meant that the participants spent time in the Wilderness for a Personal Development and Leadership experience for four days, five days of workshops with different topics which are affecting young people in their communities and a day for the graduation ceremony.
“The programme is designed to ensure that the youth are kept busy, while also equipping them with certain skills. First, and foremost, we focus on the youth to know themselves, which will lead to them making certain choices and decisions for themselves,” he said, adding that they also encouraged the learners to continue studying and also build their confidence through the programme in public speaking.
Siphosethu Booi, from Ambassadors of Change, said they knocked on doors to help disadvantaged communities to the programmes they may not be privileged to.
“We want to bring changes and be the change. The programme created a safe space for these learners to be able to express themselves,” she said.
Booi believes the environment also has an impact on how one thinks and behaves.
“The programme helped some of them to better use their time differently without thinking about things or smoking. Time passes by without knowing, but now the fear is when they get back to the same environment,” said Booi.
She said they also want to create better local role models for the learners to look up to.
Lukhanyo Sidinana (18) from Makhaza said through the programme he learned the importance of “thinking before any action”.
“I also learned to trust myself first, before anyone else. The programme also stressed the importance of trusting those you work with and respect as well,” he said.