A new Troop of Foot Soldiers is here!
ACTIVATE! Change Drivers, an initiative by the Siyashesha Leadership Incubator marks its tenth year in the youth ACTIVISM! space and aims to gear up for an even more successful next decade through its newly established ACD In-Community Programme which brings the tools and empowerment that are offered right where it is needed, at the backyard of the young people who need such programmes more than anyone. In the past decade, ACTIVATE! Change Drivers since its inception has trained over four thousand young people and equipped them with the ACD programme which is a programme aimed at equipping young South African leaders with skills for them to be able to alleviate their communities from the abject conditions they find themselves in and has over years birthed a lot of other projects that are inspired by the modus operandi of the ACTIVATE! Change Drivers. Talking about the potential of young people to effect change in their communities Mbulelo Ncevu who is an inland trainer for activated commented: “Young people in South Africa need inspiration and a platform where they can channel their frustrations in a positive way and come up with sustainable solutions in a suitable platform – Activate! is that platform”
ACTIVATE has since decided to embark on a new trajectory in terms of youth empowerment through an initiative called ACD In-Community whose purpose is to equip ACTIVATORS – who are members of this diverse network and are running community projects with skills to run and deliver the Activate Change Drivers programme that has been tried and tested in their communities. The network’s top and experienced gathered from the 24th to the 28th of October, joined by the CEO of the network – Siphlelele Chirwa, at Kopanong Hotel in Benoni, Gauteng. The purpose of this three-day-long gathering was to pass on the baton of training from the ACTIVATE Change Drivers trainers to the network members who have exhibited an interest in passing the knowledge and skill set of ACTIVATE! To the young people of their communities through their hubs.
“The ACD In-Community programme is important because it’s set out to allow and grant activators an opportunity to be meaningfully involved in the empowerment and recruitment of other foot soldiers to fight against the injustices and social ills we face as a country.” Said Rammolotsi Sothoane, our Strategic Partner and Special Projects Manager at ACTIVATE! Change Drivers.
The essence of this Training of Trainers was to ensure the sustainability of the network and to also ensure that change and affect reach where it is needed the most in the environment it is most needed. The rigorous training featured eighteen activators wherein each province of South Africa was represented by two Activators who are meant to deliver this pilot project in their provinces and ensure its sustainability in order to render it viable for renewal and to benefit other communities beyond their immediate communities. The training and coaching these Activators received during this week-long training is a mere step in the door opening a door towards continuous monitoring, coaching and support to ensure that the youth hubs where the ACD In-Community training sessions will take place are conducive for learning and have the capacity to deliver a programme of this magnitude. The attendees of this training who are called ACTIVATE Amplifiers which symbolizes the fact that they will enhance the voice and principles of ACTIVATE towards their communities received the training well as observed by our training team leader MamSbo Segobela who said: “The amplifiers were great in the way they interacted with content and with each other”.
The Activators who were present in this training were high in spirits and mostly displayed an innate wish to go back and implement the teachings and ideas of ACTIVATE! Change Drivers in their communities. The roles of these newly appointed Amplifiers who are also notably the first of their own kind are to recruit, screen, identify suitable partnerships and deliver the training to their peers in their communities, amongst others. This will be done hand and glove with consideration towards their own hubs and wherever a certain need arises, the network will be there to not only assist these amplifiers but make sure that they inspire and incentivize them to give their all to this programme.
The inception of this initiative and new trajectory in youth empowerment in the way ACTIVATE! Change Drivers wishes to deliver their programme were graced by the presence of our CEO Siphelele Chirwa whose presence inspired ACTIVATORS and assured them of the importance of this programme and how senior management is there for them whenever they run into challenges as this is a pilot programme. In reassuring ACTIVATORS! Who have become part of the training wing of activate she said “This is a learning curve, we will pass and we will fail but overall we will work together towards the success of this programme and take this programme to our communities”
About the Author:
Tlotliso Innocent May is a Free State-born 2017 Activator who is passionate about people and the alleviation of people from the dire conditions they find themselves in.