Mamelodi students and others attended the ALA (African Leadership Academy) workshop at University Of Pretoria, Mamelodi Campus on Saturday and Sunday.
The program started at 9am until 3pm on Saturday and Sunday was from 9am to 4pm with lunch provided for the students. The students who participated in the workshop were from Gatang Secondary School and Solomon Mahlangu Secondary School. Other students were from FH , Himalaya and Laudium Secondary School. After the program students got the certificates for their participation. The curriculum of the workshop was based on BUILD (believe, understand, invent, listen and deliver). Meaning that the students were trained first to believe in their ideas and that they have power to change circumstances around them, understand the community and their needs, invent solutions to solve a problem, test their ideas by listening to people they serve and deliver new solutions to solve the problem.
The purpose of the program was to develop and teach the youth entrepreneurship as a way to prevent unemployment issues and engaging them to lead solutions to community problems. Students were given the opportunity to discuss problems they encounter in their communities. Issues such as human trafficking, illegal dumping, teenage pregnancy, mob-justice, substance abuse, poverty, lack of education and crime were raised during their discussion. After they raised the issues, they were asked the causes and possible solutions. According to African Leadership Academy, the team believes very strongly in peer learning and the power of youth leadership in Africa.
The interesting part
The interesting part of the workshop was that students were given materials such as strings, marshmallows, sellotape and spaghetti to use and build a highest structure and a group that wins the game was getting a bag of marshmallows. Funny enough some students were using a table as part of the materials which was not allowed. That caused most of them to loose the game.
Their structures couldn’t stand on their own. In the end three groups whom their structures were able to stand on their own remained in the game but only one group had to get a prize. The group that won had a highest structures giving them the opportunity to win. Most of those who did not win said they were not upset about it, it was fun and they have enjoyed it. They believed they could win the game and never had conflicts within their groups. Student had a lot of confidence and interest while they were building the structures. lucky are those who won the game!
“Since I went there already owning a business, as an entrepreneur it has enhanced me and the perspective towards leadership and being an entrepreneur. I’d like to thank everyone who made it possible, the skills I have gained will definitely have a good impact on my business and I would advise everyone to attend it” said Prudence Hlatswayo, a matric student from Gatang Secondary School.
One of the team member stated that their policy does not allow them to give comments.
By: Fortunate Machaba