Being young and living in South Africa:
The youth of AKB
We asked a few of our children what it means to be young and living in South Africa and this is what they had to say:
“To be young and living in South Africa means that we are now free. We have more resources and opportunities at our disposal than the youth that fought for our freedom. Yes, we face challenges such as abuse, alcoholism, drugs, unemployment and we fall prey to social media pressure, but it is up to us to educate ourselves about the issues that affect us and we need to find ways to tackle these challenges” – Jess (18).
“We celebrate each other and our diversity. We celebrate how far we’ve come as a country and as young people. We need to look at ways in which we can shape and influence the future of our country positively” – Ricky (13)
“Being young and living in South Africa means that I can express myself freely and be versatile. I don’t have to be a teacher or nurse – which were the careers our parents were pushed into. I can choose my own career path” – Sego (19)
In the month of June South Africans honour the lives lost during the Soweto uprising of 16 June 1976. Lately the stories shared on a variety of media platforms have been changing. The focus is shifting to how the youth of ’76 is inspiring and giving courage to young people today.
In South Africa youth is broadly defines as people between the ages of 15-35 years. This age group forms part of the Abraham Kriel Bambanani demographic.
With the help of generous donors young people were empowered to change their lives and those of their families. Meet some of them here:
- Simona completed her nursing studies last year and is doing her community service to become a registered nurse.
- Benny became a breadwinner at 19 after his parents passed and is now an analyst at Discovery.
- Donald and Abner Modise are accounting graduates and are passionate about giving back.
- Donald has motivated our beneficiaries at the Abraham Kriel Westbury programme.
- Abner has become a confidant and mentor to Matric pupil Lucky, at the Maria Kloppers Campus. He is also a part of the #Ride4Hope team that cycles to raise funds for our children.
Donors gave young people from the Emdeni Skills Development Centre the opportunity to start their own businesses:
- Sibongile Ngobeni – started a construction company;
- A group of former students started a catering and events company, Dunamis Food & Events, which operates locally.
- Senzushintsho Community Development Project Cooperative was started by a group of former students and they are doing well in the agriculture sector.
It has been a marvel to watch children and youth learn and grow into adults that contribute positively to society.
Young staff members have had a massive impact in helping to change the communities we operate in. Child and youth care workers in Soweto and Westbury, have been the “go-to” people for the delivery of food parcels, keeping in touch with beneficiaries and identifying children and families in need of assistance. Many of our CCWs work in communities that they come from and have become superheroes and role models that effect positive change in the community.
One such superhero is Nonhlanhla Dlamini, an admin officer for at AKB in Westbury. Nonhlanhla is a Soweto native. She used her love for running to raise funds for the children of AKB by participating in various running events. She is an inspiration.
It is always refreshing to see young people inspire other young people to be better