Cathy Achilles and Keith Knoop met while they were church youth leaders in the Strand area, Western Cape.
In 2008, Keith founded Tag Changers, an NGO Tag Changers that aims to inspire young people to empower themselves to change their communities. Cathy is a Project Manager and Administrator for Tag Changers. Currently, the organisation reaches more than 200 young people from communities in Strand, Western to as far as Upington in the Northern Cape.
Cathy and Keith joined ACTIVATE! in 2013. “The idea for Youth Interpreter came about during the first module of the training programme. While we were doing an exercise about reflecting on the past, present and future, it struck home how many Activators in the room shared similar stories of loss. The last page of the magazine is called ‘we are because you were’ dedicated to a young life that has been lost.”
Through the collages for the ‘present’, Cathy and Keith saw the potential that young people have and the power to change South Africa. The magazine aims to showcase this potential and what young people can achieve when they are active in their communities.
The process for collecting the content saw the team, Cathy, Keith and their other team members, Clint C Sparks and Reanetse Kolisang, immersing themselves within the Ocean View, Strand and Macassar communities. The team share their skills through workshops in the communities such as Keith running motivational speaking workshops and Clint doing creative writing with the youth.
The 1st issue of Youth Interpreter was published on International Youth Day on 12 August 2013. The magazine was distributed to all who attended the Artscape Schools Arts Festival Gala in Cape Town. So far, 9000 copies distributed have been distributed across the Western Cape. YI will be launched online during September.
The YI team is currently stationed at the Artscape Resource Centre as part of the Artscape Resource Centre Creative Capacity Programme (a two-year Organisational Capacity Building Programme, headed by Ukhona Mlandu).The team has expanded, Kelly Lee Smith, has been employed as an intern and assists with the administration of the magazine.
YI is published under a registered private company, Youth Interpreter (Pty) Ltd, which is owned by Cathy and Keith and the rest of the team.