Celebrating our youth who are making a difference | Western Cape Government

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Celebrating our youth who are making a difference

Youth Day on 16 June commemorates the Soweto Uprising on 16 June 1976 and recognises the role of the youth in the liberation of South Africa from the apartheid regime.

The youth of South Africa has always played an important role in changing our society for the better.

They are prepared to fight for free education and are leading campaigns to address different social issues, aiming to remove prejudice and make societies fairer as well as safer for all. Courtney Dumont handing out stationary packs in the community.

In celebration of Youth Day this year, we look at some inspiring young people who are striving to make a difference in their communities and bring hope to society.

Faith Foundation

Courtney Dumont, a 15-year old learner from Edgemead High School is determined to make a difference in her community through her non-profit organisation, the Faith Foundation.

She says after spending time in her community, working with the children and listening to their stories, she was inspired to start her organisation in July 2018.  With the aim to bring hope and faith for a better future, Courtney runs regular fundraisers to supply underprivileged learners with stationary packs.  

“I believe education is the key to success. Since the launch of the organisation we’ve managed to help over 300 learners,” she said proudly.

When asked if she has any advice for other young people who want to make a difference in their community while pursuing their dreams she said: “My advice would be to find an organization with a cause that interests you and volunteer wherever you can. Show people that anybody can make a difference in somebody else's life no matter your age. Helping each other to achieve greatness is what will make South Africa better for all. As the youth, we are the future of South Africa and we need to work together to make it a better place.”

Courtney says she’s excited for what the future holds for her NPO and looks forward to doing even bigger things. “We’re excited to have huge companies on board. It’s not about making a donation, it’s about making a difference. We are currently planning a few fundraisers which we will complete this year and our big 2020 fundraising event,” she added.

Future Kids 

For 10-year old Rocco da Silva, seeing litter scattered on the beaches and in his community prompted him to take action and start the “Future Kids” initiative. Rocco da Silva

“I got tired of seeing litter on the beaches and everywhere for that matter and felt that I needed to do something about it. I decided to start a clean-up club in my community to arrange monthly clean-ups on the beach and raise awareness about recycling and not littering,” he said.

Rocco recently won bronze at the 2019 Eco-Logic Awards in the Eco-Youth category for the work he’s accomplished through his Future Kids initiative.

“So far we’ve have done 14 beach clean-ups at Strand beach and removed a total of 950kgs of general beach litter. I love going to the beach and it’s nice to see it cleaner than it was before but that doesn’t solve the problem. If we don’t work together and change our mind-sets, there is always going to be litter,” Rocco said.

Rocco encourages everyone – irrespective of age to start taking better care of the environment by simply picking up litter, minimise the use of plastic items and start recycling.

“Just make a start, it’s that simple,” he said.

Investing in our youth

The Western Cape Government offers many programmes that focus on youth development. This includes the MOD programmes, Youth Cafés, PAY internships, the Year Beyond programme and the National Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).

Improving the quality of education, in-and-out of school time, particularly in no- and low-fee schools remains a top priority for us.

The Western Cape Government’s Youth Development Strategy (YDS) takes on a whole-of-society approach and guides the programmes aimed at young people in our province. Our goal is to equip youth with the skills and tools needed to lead a life of value and is based on 5 pillars, including:

  • strengthening families,
  • improving education and training,
  • increasing access to economic opportunities,
  • giving  youth a positive sense of belonging, and
  • providing effective services and support to reconnect to society.

Celebrate Youth Day with Mother Nature

As part of the 20-year celebrations of nurturing nature, CapeNature is celebrating Youth Day, Sunday 16 June 2019, by allowing free access to CapeNature reserves on the day to all persons aged 35 and under. Visit the CapeNature website to read more about the terms and conditions.

The content on this page was last updated on 14 June 2019