South Africa recently celebrated the winning teams of provincial primary and secondary school national finalists at the 10th Annual Youth Citizens Action Programme (YCAP) National Championship Event in Benoni, Gauteng to showcase the sustainable impact they have made on social, environmental, educational or economic challenges in their schools or communities.
The YCAP programme provides project management, social entrepreneurship and life skills through its YCAP Toolkit and workshops, as well as platforms for learners to showcase their impactful and sustainable projects at district, provincial and national level.
This year, over 400 schools registered to participate in Y-CAP, comprising over 4000 primary and secondary school learners from and all nine provinces.
During Youth Month and Mandela Month, district events, followed by provincial events took place throughout the country to identify the most impactful projects from each category and province.
The showcase event weekend included singing happy 10th Birthday, the launch of the inspirational YCAP Song, “ Shine” which was written and performed by alumna from KZN, Mbuyiselo Vilakazi and Empowervate CEO Amanda Blankfield-Koseff, a wonderful motivational talk by 2010/2011 Miss South Africa and successful businesswoman Bokang Montjane-Tshabalala as well as a mindfulness workshop by Mind Freedom Fighter Niki Seberini to assist learners in being present and overcoming persistent thoughts that cause anxiety, low self-esteem and other common issues.
The 2019 Y-CAP National Finalists who showcased their impactful projects at the Nationals were:
- Gauteng: Uitsig Primary, Tshwane South and Tokelo Secondary, Sedibeng West
- KZN: Kranskop Primary, Umzinyathi district and Sivelile High, Ugu district
- Western Cape: Christmas Tinto Primary, Metro East and Goodwood College, Metro North district
- North West: Tlhasedi Primary and Lerome Secondary, Bojanala district
- Northern Cape: Oranje Oewer Primary, ZFM and Floors High, Frances Baard district
- Mpumalanga: Mashishing Secondary, Bojanala
- Free State: Khutsong Primary, Lejweleputswa district and Retshedisitswe Secondary, Fezile Dabi district
- Limpopo: Nkomo Primary, Mopani and EPP Mhinga Secondary, Vhembe
- Eastern Cape: Stephen Nkomo Primary, Amathole East and Khotso Secondary, Lusikisiki
The 2019 winners received tablets, with runners up receiving power banks and each finalist receivinh prize money to continue their projects or start a new one. The winners were:
Oranje-Oewer Primary, Northern Cape: Environmental issues
- Combatting littering and cleaningup the school
Kranskop Primary, KZN:Environmental issues
- Improving recycling at school
Sivelile High, KZN: Environment and nutrition
- Repairing the school’s kitchen and learning building skills
Retshedisitswe High, Free State: Environmental and safety issues
- Improving safety and security at school
Stephen Nkomo Primary, Eastern Cape: Social issues
- Learning to care for disabled learners
Nkomo Primary, Limpopo: Social issues
- Eradication of bullying
Floors High, Northern Cape: Social issues
- Know your worth, increasing self-esteem and drug abuse prevention
Mashishing High, Mpumalanga: Academic and environmental issues
- Know your worth – increased self-esteem and drug abuse prevention
The Change Agents for Sustainability Award winners were from four provinces and they demonstrated how the YCAP project has been sustained over years and how the methodology has helped them to make other positive changes in their schools and communities.
The programme’s major sponsors through Empowervate Trust are Deutsche Bank South Africa Foundation, DSV SA, and providing in-kind donations are UNISA, Airlink, and Boston City Campus. Empowervate is in need of more funders and support to continue to run the programme and to reach more schools in South Africa.
Together, we are encouraging the youth to be proactive, being the change they want to see.