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

Om jonk te wees in Suid-Afrika:

Die jeug van AKB

Ons het ‘n paar jongmense gevra wat dit beteken om jonk te wees in Suid-Afrika. Dit is wat hulle gesê het:

“Dit beteken dat jy nou vry is. Ons het meer bronne en geleenthede tot ons beskikking as die jeug wat vir ons vryheid geveg het. Ja, daar is uitdagings soos misbruik, alkoholisme, dwelms en werkloosheid. Ons is blootgestel aan die druk van sosiale media. Tog is dit ons plig om onsself op te voed oor die sake wat ons raak en om maniere te vind om die uitdagings te oorkom.” – Jess (18).

“Ons vier mekaar en ons diversiteit. Ons vier die vooruitgang wat ons gemaak het in ons ‘n land en as jongmense. Ons moet soek na maniere waarop ons die toekoms van ons land positief kan vorm en beinvloed.” – Ricky (13)

“Om jonk te wees en in Suid-Afrika te woon, beteken dat ek myself vrylik kan uitdruk. Ek hoef nie net ‘n onderwyser of verpleegster te word  – soos my ouers nie. Ek kan my eie loopbaan kies” – Sego (19)

Tydens Junie onthou Suid-Afrikaners die lewensverlies van jeugdiges tydens die Soweto opstand van 16 Junie 1976. Deesdae het die fokus ietwat geskuif. Dit gaan nou meer oor die inspirasie wat vandag se jongmense put uit die jeug van ’76.

In Suid-Afrika word jeug breedweg gedefinieer as mense tussen die ouderdomme van 15 – 35 jaar. Die ouderdomsgroep is deel van die demografie van Abraham Kriel Bambanani

Met die hulp van liefdevolle donateurs is jongmense bemagtig om hulle lewens en die van hulle gesinne te verander. U kan van hulle hier ontmoet:

  • Simona het haar verpleegstudies laasjaar voltooi en is tans besig met haar gemeenskapsdiens voor sy ‘n geregistreerde verpleegster word.
  • Benny het op 19 die broodwinner geword, na die afsterwe van sy ouers. Hy is nou ‘n analis by Discovery.
  • Donald en Abner Modise het beide kwalifikasies as rekenmeesters en albei is passievol oor dit wat hulle kan teruggee.
    • Donald het die jongmense by die Abraham Kriel Westbury program al verskeie keer gemotiveer.
    • Abner het konfidant en mentor geword van Lucky toe hy ‘n jong matrikulant was op die Maria Kloppers Kampus. Hy neem ook deel aan die #Ride4Hope fietsry veldtog om fondse te werf vir kinders.

Donateursfondse gee jong mense wat uit die ‘Emdeni Skills Centre’ kom geleentheid om hulle eie besighede te ontwikkel:

  • Sibongile Ngobeni – het ‘n konstruksiemaatskappy begin;
  • ‘n Aantal voormalige studente het ‘n spysenieringsmaatskappy begin. Dunamis Food & Events, funksioneer plaaslik.
  • Senzushintsho Community Development Project Cooperative werk in die landbou sektor en word bedryf deur ‘n group oudstudente.

Dit laat ‘n mens in verwondering om te sien hoe kinders en jeug leer en groei in volwassenes wat bydra tot die gemeenskap

Jong personeellede het ‘n groot impak om verandering teweeg te bring in die gemeenskappe waar ons werk. Kinder- en jeugwerkers in Soweto en Westbury is meestal betrokke by die verpreiding van kospakkies, die behoud van kontak met jongmense en gesinne en die identifisering van nog mense wat hulpbehoewend is. Baie van die versorgers werk in die gemeenskappe waar hulle grootgeword het en het sodoende superhelde en rolmodelle geword, wat positiewe verandering in die gemeenskap teweeg bring.

Een so ‘n superheld is Nonhlanhla Dlamini, ‘n administratiewe werker vir AKB in Westbury. Nonhlanhla is ‘n Soweto boorling. Sy het haar passie vir hardloop aangewend om fondse te werf vir AKB se kinders, deur haar deelname aan padwedlope. Sy is ‘n inspirasie.

Dit is so bevredigend en  verrasend om te sien hoe jongmense mekaar aanspoor om na meer te aspireer.