Hundreds of youths from across the Western Cape made a direct difference in the lives of people in Tulbagh one Friday recently. These young people were attending a provincial youth camp hosted by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS), with support from Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA), the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and loveLife . The camp took place at the Waterval Country Lodge from 23 to 27 September 2013.
Community outreach is the part of the programme that enables participants to put into practice what they have learned during the camp. Accompanied by the Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport Dr Ivan Meyer, the participants visited Huis Dias, an old age home, to warm the hearts of senior citizens. They provided musical entertainment, cleaned the home’s garden, washed senior citizens’ hair, and pampered them. The youths also did a clean-up of the Klip River and painted the bridge over the river.
Dr Meyer said it is important to appreciate senior citizens for the role they play in their town and in their families. He encouraged the youths to be actively involved in outreach programmes in their communities.
“You’ve promoted the culture of volunteerism, which contributes to the themes of the camp – social inclusion, leadership, national identity and personal character development. I hope you will be inspired to continue with this culture and show that we’re proud to be South Africans.”
Huis Dias Matron Ms Marlene Bester said, “We really appreciate what the youth did here today. Many of them interacted with the senior citizens, who shared their stories with these young people. I’m confident that the senior citizens won’t forget this experience.”
Youth camp participant Chuma Ngam (23) of Plettenberg Bay was inspired by the community outreach activity. “It was a moving experience for us. We are humbled to have made a difference. This reflects the spirit of ubuntu.”
DCAS provincial camp co-ordinator Mr Ronald Gabriel said a total of 275 people, including team leaders and facilitators, participated in the week-long event. “We’re very pleased with the outcomes of the camp. The various partners worked together with the participants to create an enjoyable, meaningful and memorable experience. The workshops and activities empowered participants to strive towards being responsible and conscious people who will proudly and eagerly make a difference in their communities.”