By: Paul Mabote
Youth Hub leaders gathered for three days in Johannesburg to discuss ways to increase the impact of their youth hubs…
From the 21st of May 2021, Johannesburg was the scene for a momentous event. Leaders from more than 20 youth hubs across South Africa converged in Braamfontein for a 3 day Youth Hub gathering which was organized and facilitated by ACTIVATE’s Provoke team. The conference was eventful, with the youth hub leaders discussing and sharing ways and strategies to maximize the impact of their respective youth hubs.
The network support team welcomed the young leaders on the first day of the conference before dining and heading straight into a session with Harambee youth employment accelerator. The session, which was held via a remote internet call, was facilitated by Adela Ndlovu and Xola Speelman. They introduced and explained SA Youth, an interactive online platform that offers various opportunities to young South Africans.
Khomotso Komape, a 2015 Activator took the stage to present Father A Nation, a movement he is part of, which seeks to help men develop into responsible and respectful figures in society. To conclude the day, Nathacia Olivier invited the leaders to participate in a creative exercise, where they illustrated their optimal vision for the respective youth hubs.
Day two of the youth hub gathering saw the leaders going on site visits to two youth hubs which have been in partnership with ACTIVATE! for a period of time. The two Youth hubs that were paid visits are Rudo Institute in Daveyton and Outreach Foundation which is based in Hillbrow, Johannesburg. The aim of the visits was to learn from the two youth hubs strategic ways of maintaining sustainability and income generation.
Malusi Mazibuko made a very informative presentation upon the group’s return to Johannesburg. The presentation explored the Youth Hub Road Map, which lays out the different structural and operational aspects of a successful youth hub. The session was followed by a presentation by Cephas Mutami on monitoring and evaluation, an aspect which many of the organization leaders were eager to learn more about.
Sandile Ntete introduced the ACTIVATE! Academy, which is an online platform that offers Activators and other young people learning opportunities. He highlighted that the academy is looking to partner with youth hubs to increase the student rate and further reach of the opportunities offered by the academy. Activator Siphelele Gumede expressed concern and requested that the Academy considers offering more accredited courses.
On the final day of the gathering, the young leaders were given the opportunity to present their youth hubs to other young people, to seek ways to share information and collaborative support. “We are all born to shine!” said 2017 Activator Hlubikazi Sanqela during her presentation of Nkosi Johnson youth hub, which is based in the Eastern Cape. They host leadership sessions, amongst other activities, where they teach soft skills to young people of their community.
The entire conference proved to be effective, with the young leaders going back to their respective homes and communities with newly-found knowledge, and replenished spirits. Activator Jennifer Mdluli said “The experience has been very humbling. I am truly inspired by the work that I see other young people doing in different parts of the country. There are ideas that I have learned and which I am willing to adopt. I am truly looking forward to us engaging further, not only us as a group but also with the partnership of the ACTIVATE! leadership.”