2023 Q3 Newsletter
Building momentum and activating change
However, it’s important to recognize that building momentum and activating change are not one-time events but ongoing processes. It requires consistent effort and adaptability to sustain and build upon the initial progress. Leaders should also keep communication channels open and engage with their teams to ensure everyone is aligned with the change objectives. In doing so and with this in mind, Activate! Change Drivers can create a dynamic environment where momentum becomes a driving force for continuous improvement and a catalyst for positive transformation.
The third quarter comprised of a vibrancy of a youth network led for and by the youth. Young people were intentionally present in all corners of society and engaged with the public in key areas of community development. This was fast-tracked through the #WeAreVoting and #ThisFreedom campaign.
Here we saw the rise of the network coordinated and committed to its cause and the people of South Africa. While there remains a great level of anxiousness and frustration from the people of South Africa, there is an uncontested story and building that is happening in our network. We have chosen to use multifaceted practical skills and seek knowledge in dynamic ways. This was further fast-tracked through our Citizen Journalism Training held in partnership with the University of the Witwatersrand. Here young people came to equip themselves with the tools necessary to continue to fill the gap where the authentic stories and voices of citizens are concerned. It cannot be stressed enough that young people are on the move, young people have chosen to be functional with their discontent. We are building brick by brick through youth-led community efforts, toward the empowerment of our communities and our future.
We attended the Democracy capacity-building program at the University of Pretoria, participated in the launch of the human development report at Stats SA, and integrated civic and voter education into champions’ projects. Additionally, we were invited to speak at the Changemaker20 Summit, delivered a call to action at the United Nations global launch of the Nelson Mandela SDGs quotes booklet, and attended the 2023 East and Southern Africa Regional Governance Forum and Democracy Day Roundtable in Zambia.
In conclusion, our journey in Quarter 3 was marked by growth, collaboration, and impactful community initiatives. We remain dedicated to empowering young South Africans and promoting active citizenship as we look forward to the exciting challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in our mission to strengthen democracy.
During the third quarter, a number of key activities were conducted in an effort to realize key objectives of the ACD In-Community programme. Among these were ACD Module 2 trainings conducted across all 9 provinces reaching over 100 participants from across several rural, semi-urban and urban communities. Over and above its contribution towards expanding the organization’s reach through graduating this number of new Activators into the network, the programme further made great strides towards deepening our organizational impact by empowering Activators who served as programme Amplifiers with knowledge and skills to coordinate and facilitate a training programme for the benefit of young people in their respective communities. This opens the door for an amplifier effect at a community level with the network positively influencing youth development efforts by equipping other young people with key competencies to drive positive social change. As year 1 of the implementation of the ACD In-Community programme comes to a close, it is important to draw lessons from the learning journey the organization undertook with a select group of Activators to collaborate in strengthening the capacity of young people to make a difference in their communities.
Among the key milestones for the quarter has been the finalization of ACD In-Community Module 2 training across all 9 provinces. With regards to Youth Hubs, 15 Youth Hub Leads were enrolled in an Accredited Facilitation coordinated in partnership with MI Learning and Development Consultancy. Key highlights for the Generation G programme have been the approval of the Innovation Fund proposal by the Generation G Global Consortium. Moreover, key activities conducted over this quarter include the Heritage Day Campaign and the NSP GBVF training conducted across 3 provinces. With respect to the National Youth Resilience Initiative, 2 residential trainings have been successfully conducted in Sedibeng and Nkangala districts respectively.
The third was a productive quarter, although it was less intense than the second. One of the goals we set for ourselves as part of our goals was to have more in-person engagements with Activators and community members. The second quarter gave us a healthy start that propelled us to continue in the same fashion in the third quarter. We were able to host in-community engagements in all three programme elements of our Portfolio. Under Mobilisation and Campaigns, we hosted the National Day of Demonstration, under Capacity Building we hosted an in-community A! Classified Workshop (a first) in Khayelitsha and under policy we hosted Who Voice Do You Want to Hear Dialogues across various provinces in the country.
The Activities of the third were also a build-up towards the two Imbizos that we are going planning to host on the 28th of September and the 28th of October. The first Imbizo will be a Health Imbizo that focuses on SDG 3, a campaign we have worked on throughout the year. This Imbizo will be held in Durban, KZN. The second Imbizo will be an amalgamation of two sectors, the Agriculture and Arts sectors. This follows the Agri-Go Green Project and Women in Film and Arts Spaces. The Imbizo will be in Braamfontein, KZN.
At the end of the third quarter, we will also be bidding the Network Support Manager, Thamsanqa Masingi a 2013 Activator who has been a staff member for the past 6 years. We wish him well.
One of the key highlights of the quarter is Khomotso Komape a 2015 Activator from Limpopo who was selected to attend the Human Rights Conference in Nairobi, Kenya.
Network Support Coordinator, Patrick Mcobothi, was invited to speak at the YMCA Youth Indaba and represent ACTIVATE! and speak about the Civic Education Work we do as well the role young people can play in promoting democracy through civic education. Network Support Coordinator,
Nathacia Olivier, participated in the Uhunu Career Guidance and Learning hosted by the Michigan State University: Alliance for African Partnership.
On the 24th of August, we organised a nationwide demonstration which we called the Day of Demonstration. We had 30 Activators across all provinces going to public spaces and creating dialogue around the current state of our democracy. Young people voiced out how they feel about #ThisFreedom and whether 29 years later, the majority of South Africans actually reap the fruits of the freedom that was fought for with blood sweat and tears.
We launched the A! Network Support Fund which essentially sets out to provide support to the network in the form of non-financial resources to the tune of R150 000. We have resourced 11 Activators so far.
On behalf of the organization, as we bid farewell to our colleagues, Thamsanqa Masingi, our Network Manager and Dwaine Fish. We shall miss them at work, but we hope that their personal adventure brings joy and deeper fulfilment.
Great leaders like yourselves have an impact on their workplace, and it’s clear that you’ve touched a lot of people within and beyond the network.
Thank you for your dedication and hard work. Working with you was a fantastic experience that threw many unknowns into our professional pathways. Thank you very much for your time and effort. Working with you was the most pleasurable because of your profound knowledge and charisma. We sincerely wish you all the best and may all you have poured into the youth of this country, bear fruits. #WeAreVoting
I’ve seen how Activators live out the values of the organization to Connect, Inspire, Influence, and Provoke. How they stand up against injustices, Take charge to address issues that affect young people in our country, they influence change. That was a constant reminder of why I always wanted to join the network. As my time as a staff member has come to an end. I am comforted by the fact that this is not the end of our journey towards creating change in our society. I joined more than a year ago as a staff member and Today I leave as a member of one of the most vibrant youth networks in the world.
I would like sincerely to thank the Organisation & the Network for having given me the opportunity to serve young people during the last 6 years as a Trainer of the ACD programme and Network Support team member. My time here at ACTIVATE! has always been informed by my passion for creating enabling environments towards achieving socio-political change within communities. Over the last 6 years, my mission has been to connect, equip and influence change drivers towards a future worthy of our longing.
A few months ago, I was asked an interesting question, what was my greatest achievement since becoming a staff member of ACTIVATE? At that moment I had a flash of moments and success stories come to mind, however, I think the Setswana idiom answers the question quite well. “Kgaka-kgolo ga ke na mebala, mebala e dikgakaneng” in essence, the impact of my work isn’t seen through me, but through the impact made by Activators who I had the privilege of training or working with.
When I joined ACTIVATE! I was of the belief that this journey was mine to walk and mine alone. Boy was I wrong. This journey was a collective journey that came with so many experiences that I would have never experienced if it wasn’t for my colleagues, Activators and the communities that Activators introduced me to. I walked in with a glass half full and I walked away with a glass that’s filled to a point that it runneth over.
As I end this journey, I would like to remind you that ours is an endeavour that seeks to uplift our communities as well as bring about the complete emancipation of our people. In our pursuit, we should never be deterred by the challenges nor lose hope because of how long it takes. I leave you with the words of Thabo Mbeki, “Those who complete the course will do so only because they do not, as fatigue sets in, convince themselves that the road ahead is still too long, the inclines too steep, the loneliness impossible to bear and the prize itself of doubtful value.”