ACTIVATE! Change Drivers will facilitate a gathering, the ACTIVATE! Youth Imbizo at the Free State University to explore how civic engagement and social participation among South Africa’s youth can be enhanced. This initiative seeks to address social ills that devalue the country’s democracy, especially those that derail youth development. This will be in a form of a dialogue between young people and government’s representatives and other relevant organisations in the private sector.
ACTIVATE! Change Drivers is a network of more than 1600 young change makers or “Activators” across South Africa who are finding innovative ways to transform their communities and the country as a whole. The ACTIVATE! Youth Imbizo forms part of ACTIVATE! Change Drivers’ mission to equip young with necessary knowledge and skills to thrive in their respective social development efforts.
Coordinator for the ACTIVATE! Imbizo project, Lezerine Mashaba, says that even though the government and some companies in the private sector are implementing strategies to empower the youth, it is therefore important for young people in the country to start talking about how they can meet those efforts halfway.
The participation of young people in South Africa’s democratic processes is important for future political trends in the country. The 1976 Soweto Uprising is a perfect example of the critical role young people have historically played in challenging unjust conditions facing them and bringing about a democratic dispensation in South Africa. However, the youth today is commonly described as unmotivated and violent. Perhaps this is due to the methods that young people opt for as means of making their voices heard. Such spaces as the Imbizo aims to challenge the narrative that exists about young people. For that reason this platform will seek to explore how the youth can collaborate with government, the private sector and civic society to innovatively and peacefully contribute towards their own development.
“The aim of the Imbizo is not only to find solutions to address challenges that face our youth, but also to make a meaningful contribution, as a province, to the national conversations around civic and political engagement among the youth,” says Mashaba.
Representatives from government, the private sector and civic organisations will be present to engage with the audience. University of Free State, Independent Electoral Commission, Love Life, Black Management Forum and the National Youth Development Agency are some of the organisations that will be participating. The session will be as interactive as possible to encourage maximum participation of all attendants, thereby enabling environment for teaching and learning.
The Imbizo will be hosted at the University of Free State on Friday, April 22, 2015 between 11H00 and 14H00. For more information and details on how you can participate or attend, please contact Kgotso Sothoane on 060 459 7354.
Under the umbrella theme, ‘Democracy in Action’, ACTIVATE! Change Drivers is facilitating similar Imbizos in three other provinces. On 05 April the Imbizo was held in KwaZulu Natal where ‘HIV/AIDS prevention’ was discussed at the As-Salaam Institute in Ugu district. In the Eastern Cape the Imbizo took place on 08 April and the dialogue was around ‘Abortion Stigma’. The last Imbizo will be held in North West on 06 May and the topic will be ‘Land – What’s the plan for youth?’ The plan is to highlight how these topical issues affect South Africa’s hard earned democracy and come up with resolutions.
Issued by ACTIVATE! Change Drivers. For more information please visit www.activateleadership.co.za
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