The programme aims to equip young people to be innovative active citizens, influencing and provoking positive change for the global good.
Londeka Nyuswa, Percivale Nxumalo and Melusi Hlongwane are everyday heroes, who along with other leaders from across the country, were profiled in the non-profit youth organisation’s book titled Heroes, which aims to shine a spotlight on these committed leaders.
Nyuswa, a 22-year-old student studying for a Bachelor’s degree in education at Unisa, described herself as a focused, motivated and a goal-driven individual who is passionate about literacy, economics and politics.
“As a citizen, I believe that if I want to bring about change in the community it has to start with me,” she said.
She said through Activate! she was able to network with other young people across South Africa.
“I obtained more innovative ideas and I brought them back into the community, to spark change,” said Nyuswa.
Nyuswa has organised reading clubs for children between the ages of 5 and 10 in the community.
“I believe that this drive will help change the problem of illiteracy into literacy, and will thus have a great impact on decreasing poverty, crime and substance abuse,” she said.
She said she had seen a lot of change in the children she had worked with.
“Their vocabulary has improved as well as their reading skills. Reading excites them,”said Nyuswa.
Nyuswa said her plans for the future were to register her reading clubs and to open her own non-profit organisation and daycare centre, with accredited Grade R.
Nxumalo is a social activist who is passionate about youth development programmes.
No stranger to community work, he said he had participated in youth programmes since his high-school days and he has worked with different organisations both inside and outside of the country.
For the first time, I feel like I’m holding the best tool to bring about change in my community. I’m living the core objectives of Activate! To equip, connect, inspire, provoke and to influence,” he said.
Nxumalo said he and others gave high school pupils extra classes on Saturdays with a focus on maths and science, among other subjects.
“Through this, we’ve received positive results which have motivated teachers and parents,” he said.
According to Nxumalo, another programme in which he is involved is called Alcohol Substance Abuse, and involves participating in public talks on different topics such as HIV/Aids, alcohol, and drug abuse treatment.
He said he had already started an NGO and wanted to develop a programme to partner with other young people.
“The objective is to build a youth network to find our commonalities and merge with other programmes,” said Nxumalo.
He added that his vision was to work together with all the young people in the KZN districts.
Another leader in the community, Hlongwane, described himself as an outspoken individual who was passionate about community and youth development.
This KZN-based activator has been part of a Durban University of Technology programme called the Innovative Leadership Programme, with a focus on HIV/Aids.
He is the secretary of Dukuza Computers, which is aimed at equipping young people and the community of Dukuza with computer skills, and he also tutors economics in Bergville during the June and September holidays.
Hlongwane said being a change driver had made him become aware that his passion was being of service to others.
“I feel so fulfilled when I lend a helping hand,” he said.
His goal is to start a network of young men from his community in Dukuza, where they will participate in talks and help groom each other to become better men.
Hlongwane added that he had another plan: to build an organisation where young people would get a chance to showcase their talents, especially those who did not get a chance to go to university.
“I want them to know that it’s not the end of the world and that there are far better opportunities out there,” he said.