On Tuesday, October 10, AYANA started our first program in South Africa through our partner Africa Unite. The incredible students Africa Unite works with are currently brainstorming solutions to issues in their communities, including teacher training, school resources, school drop-outs, bullying, and local policy-making.
Africa Unite’s goal is to build communities that are conflict free, enhance social cohesion and promote social economic development within these communities. To achieve this Africa Unite involves communities directly impacted by conflicts through involving, school and church leaders, trade associations, business forums, youth groups, gang-leaders, spaza-shop owners’ SAPS, Local government and civil society organisations. These will be the key players in helping us to identify the conflicts that are terrorising our communities currently.
Brilliant Nyambi, Africa Unite Youth Coordinator, elaborated on the importance of youth in creating positive change: "The success of any development and peace agenda depends on empowering young people as rights-holders, agents of change and torchbearers," Nyambi said. The focus of this program is allowing young people to identify what human rights are, identify gaps in their communities, and think about ways they can collectively create change. In the future, AYANA hopes to expand programs in South Africa to include peace-building and policy-making trainings for youth.
(BELOW) Students participate in an AYANA program, facilitated by Africa Unite facilitators.
Nyambi detailed on the need for a program like this quite perfectly: "During our different interventions,we have noticed that once young people grasp human rights concepts, they begin to look for the realization of these concepts in their own lives, schools, communities, families, places of work, and other appropriate areas."