ACTIVATE! Youth Resilience

By: Rejoyce Kgabo Legodi

“We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it as not as dreadful as it appears, discovering that we have the strength to stare it down.” This Eleanor Roosevelt quote clearly defines fearless and hardworking leaders such as Activator William Chokoe. When so many young people have lost hope with no sense of direction and still look down on themselves, unsure of what they want, change drivers continue to maximize opportunities and remain resilient!

Through everyday change that the world introduces us to and constant approach of challenges, ACTIVATE! Change drivers continues to drive iconic change. Many lives continuously get impacted positively day by day – It is so beautiful to watch. 2018 Activator from the deep rural area of Moletji in Limpopo Province, William Chokoe, is also a founder of Boys & Girls Educational Foundation. It is an NPO for youth, women and people living with disabilities. This initiative aims to touch as many lives as possible and develop rural communities. “Like any other project, we face different challenges every day, there are steps to undergo, procedures to follow, and constant ups and downs. However, for the love we have for our communities, we keep our heads up and high at all times” Chokoe said. It is utterly amazing that irrespective of how challenging the leadership journey may be, the 2018 Activator keeps pulling through without having doubt and thoughts of giving up. Chokoe says: “Gratitude and perseverance are two tools that help me keep navigating because leadership to me is also a journey. I allow myself to learn and grow. I remain grateful to my community for trusting me enough to engage and empower them with the skills I attain daily”.

In the meantime, our country is experiencing another different kind of pandemic which is Gender-Based Violence (GBV). It is a daily trauma that leaves children and women of this country unsafe and always in fear of their lives. As such, we need more young people to intervene, set up the necessary legalities and come up with solutions to ensure that women and children of our country remain protected. Chokoe further states: “Through the Boys & Girls Educational Foundation, we are hoping to have dialogues this youth month with the boy child and men in our community to teach them more about bullying and abuse. There is so much to be done and we cannot just fold our hands and watch – we need to build men that can speak up and stop abusing children and women, to truly come together as one, so that we can change a lot of perspectives and eventually build a free and safe country.”

Organisations that do not embrace diversity are shortchanging themselves and those dependent on them. Leadership may be thought of and seems as if it is a lonely journey, but it is not! The outcomes and number of lives that get developed worldwide through leadership structures are beyond imaginable. The way we think and feel about ourselves, our community, and the work we put out there (including our beliefs and expectations about what is possible for us) determines everything that happens to us. When we change the quality of our thinking, we change the quality of our life and those surrounding us, sometimes instantly.

In conclusion, Chokoe said that he draws his motivation from leaders such as Khomotso Komape (2015 Activator) also based in Limpopo. “He is forever working hard, and I must say, each and every achievement that we attain is with his inputs and a whole lot of efforts he puts in. The love and support he shows towards community development and youth engagements is unmatched.”


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