April Newsletter 2016

Dear Educo Africa Supporter,

We trust that you had a wonderful Easter Weekend and enjoyed the holidays.

March saw the end of our 2015 Expanded Public Works Programme(EPWP) contract which meant that we had to say goodbye to most of the staff who have been gaining experience working and assisting us both on courses, and in the office. Three members are now Associates Facilitators of Educo Africa which means that they join our team that runs courses We congratulate and welcome Megon Prins, Athenkosi Baba and Mbulelo Ncevu to the Associate Team.

We look forward to the 2016 EPWP programme being finalised in May and the 20 new young people who will be joining us this year. Furthermore, the 20 young people that were selected from the Social Enterprise Programme (supported by Department of Social Development), to start and register their businesses.

In the wilderness, April began with 3 Personal Development and Leadership (PDL) courses for University students at TSiBA Education. A PDL Wilderness course has many parts to it that are embedded in the activities that we offer. This includes elements of:

Challenging personal boundaries, going beyond fear and what you think you can do and have never done before.
The joy of achieving a new goal and how you feel about that achievement
Assisting each other across the difficult places
Finding new direction in life and,
Reflecting on ‘who am I?’ and sharing this in a safe space

In other news, Siphelele Chirwa, one
of our Executive members, most experienced facilitators and Sihambela Phambili Programme Manager, recently shared how one of her dreams is reaching many in South Africa.

The Making Local Government Work(MLGW) Programme was broadcasted on a programme on SABC called Walala Wasala earlier this month, and included an interview with Siphelele. Here are some highlights:

What’s your passion?
Youth development and helping young people live into their full potential. I think every young person has so much within themselves and I want to assist them in finding themselves again.

What change are you keen to drive?
The change I am driving is focused on
personal development; I believe that once a person is developed internally that everything else will follow. Youth often struggle to find their true potential because of external challenges that they are facing, such
as poverty and unemployment.
The youth are so weighed down by everything that happens around them, that who they are becomes secondary.

How are you driving change?
I am part the CEO of a non-profit organisation, Educo Africa, my responsibilities include fundraising and facilitating interventions. We believe that the wilderness is the greatest teacher in assisting people to find themselves and take participants on trips to connect with themselves. We include solo nights in the programme that sees participants spend a night in the wilderness on their own.

Understanding the importance of building relationships with local councillors and knowing who they need to contact to deal with various challenges in their community.
We also want to break misconceptions that you need to be affiliated with a certain political party to be involved with local government.
The programme’s workshops are held in partnership with the IEC and Activate! and are held in Kraaifontein, Langa, Khayelitsha, Gugulethu and Hanover Park, these areas were chosen  because they were political hot spots in the last two years.
We were interviewed under the topic, What is local government on SABC 1’s education programme Walala Wasala. Why do you think you were chosen for this specific show? And what was highlighted on the programme?

The show reinstated the importance of education in South Africa and highlighted that youth require navigation in knowing their local government.  
We discussed the work we do at Educo Africa through our MLGW Programme. Highlighting the vision of the programme, we also raised how we are interacting with youth groups and the topics that are being discussed. For example, “what is The Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP)? How does it affect youth, and how do young people get their voices heard in local government?”

How would you describe the experience and its importance?
What I enjoyed most is the exposure the show gave the programme and how it empowers youth.
How has ACTIVATE! supported you so far in driving this change?
Through Activate! I feel supported, being introduced to a network of young like-minded individuals and having opportunities to work with them has been amazing.
I have also used many of the methodologies and trainings I have learned, such as ‘Developing Others While Developing Self and Practicing Democracy’.

These are methodologies that I have also adapted in the MLGW Programme.

Another example is the Theory U, it entails how one deals with a challenge. There have been times that I have been faced with a challenge and I have used this Theory of going outside the problem. Then looking at how others are dealing with their challenges and developed a prototype on what I see or experience.

How do you motivate yourself?
My biggest motivation is not allowing frustration to turn into negativity.
Final comment?
My vision for South Africa’s youth is that we as young people, stop putting boundaries around ourselves. We allow South Africa to box us. We need to challenge the norms and create our future now. That’s what I always do. Live my legacy now. (For more see: http://www.activateleadership.co.za/blog/5-minutes-with-siphelele#sthash.hY0KUoZl.dpuf)

That’s all the time we have for this month, next month we feature two SP participants and what they are doing at Educo Africa. Until then, thanks again for supporting – the Educo Africa Team

Educo Africa wish list for the month: Our basecamp kitchen and shower areas are in need of a new coat of enamel paint. If you have any enamel paint in your garage that you would like to donate, please send us an email. We would be grateful for any amount in any colour.TSIBA PDL 6-11 April 2016 (117)Picture1IMG_9799