Youth participating in the National Youth Camp organised by the Department of Social Development have promised to use the lessons learned at the Camp to initiate community development projects in the areas they come from. The camp is taking place at the De Brug Military Centre in Bloemfontein, Free State.
During the fourth day of the Camp the youth delegates learned how to conduct community economic analysis and community asset mapping as a way of identifying local development gaps as well locally available resources that can be used towards development in the areas they come from.
Prince Masina, a youth delegate from Burgersfort in Limpopo, said he has learned how to get involved in development work in his community and has already identified one of the first projects he will implement when he gets back home. "Many children where I come from don't go to school or drop out early. I will use what I have learned here to start a programme that teaches my peers about the importance of school so that more of them can complete their matric," said Prince.
Koketso Mokhetoa from Soweto said her passion is in looking after vulnerable children and plans to start a kids club to feed the less fortunate children in her community. She said, "We have many children in our community with parents who have no jobs, and some are orphans. I want to start a club that will help feed these children."
Day 4 of the Camp also focused on teaching young people how to organise themselves into active groups that can influence planning and development in their local municipalities. They were encouraged to use these groups to interact with local municipality management in order to ensure that their development needs are catered for when local development plans are drawn up.
During a feedback session, Frans Mohlakola, a delegate from Brakpan in Gauteng, commended the Camp for its practical approach. "We have attended many workshops and camps but not many of them have been able to give us practical guidelines about how we can help in developing our communities. I like the fact that this Camp offers practical advice to us that can be implemented immediately," said Frans.
Day 4 concluded with a motivational talk from Proudly South African CEO, Mr Lesley Sedibe, who spoke to the youth about patriotism and belief in their abilities regardless of their background.
On Thursday, 6 December the youth will be hosted by the Minister for Social Development, Ms Bathabile Dlamini, and her Deputy, Mrs Maria Ntuli, in a closing gala dinner.