It is of utmost importance for South Africa, as a developing state, to invest in youth development and adopt tactics of international standards. Koketso Marishane, a social activist from Ga-Marishane in Limpopo, understands this importance. He has been working tirelessly creating alliances with other countries to seek development opportunities for young people in his community. As a result, ten of his mentees have been granted opportunities to partake in study programmes in countries like Russia, India and Germany.
The programmes are jointly facilitated by The Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation, The Special Commonwealth Assistance for Africa and The Technical Cooperation of Colombo Plan Scheme. Participants have broad options available to them in the fields of Information and Communications Technology, Management Studies, Rural Development Studies, Engineering and Political Science.
Marishane is a member of the ACTIVATE! Change Drivers network and, therefore, is committed and well equipped to drive change in his community. ACTIVATE! Change Drivers is a network of more than 2000 young change makers or “Activators” across South Africa who are finding innovative ways to transform their communities and the country as a whole. The Network connects these young change makers and equips them with necessary skills and resources to thrive in their respective social development initiatives.
With a vision that reaches beyond the borders of this country, Marishane believes that South Africa can immensely thrive if it models its socio-economic solutions to those of developed countries. “Most developed countries have always placed their youth at the forefront of development. It is crucial for South Africa to put most of our investment in youth. This will inspire them to adopt a culture of learning and then implement their knowledge and skills towards becoming well-rounded adults that will ensure the wellbeing of this country,” he says.
In 2015, while taking part in one of ACTIVATE! Change Drivers’ exercises, Marishane realised that a lot of South African youth live in environments that that deprives them of what life has to offer outside their confines. He felt compelled to start creating international networks with the aim of seeking global opportunities for the youth in his community. “I wanted to enforce the spirit of global citizenry to young people. Fortunately, my efforts were gladly supported by a Limpopo based multi-stakeholder forum with interests in youth development and my aims were fulfilled.”
In addition to fully paid diligent training at internationally acclaimed learning institutions, Marishane’s mentees will be exposed to global development systems. His next move is to encourage them to use their new skills and knowledge to further develop their own communities.
Issued by ACTIVATE! Change Drivers. For more information please visit www.activateleadership.co.za
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