The ball hasn’t stopped rolling just yet! Everyday there is something new to look forward to, a new life to make a difference to and a new experience to savor. This time we hosted a group of 60 High School students, from schools in Umbumbulu and KwaMashu, at the University of KwaZulu Natal. As the Ubuntu Design Group, it is paramount that we don’t uphold our values and principles in solitude, but to incorporate members of different age groups, backgrounds and levels to share in our vision and thus create a legacy that is bigger and deeper than the organization. In this edition, we look at two further important events that took place, on top of those outlined in the previous edition. The first of which is the Interactive Storytelling program, and secondly the presentation that was rendered at the municipality
This program was held in collaboration with “Siyabanakekela” (We care for them) led by Dudu Ngubane from the eThekwini Municipality, and here we sought to establish two objectives. The first of these was to get the students to share about the challenges that they are experiencing in their various communities. However, we also wanted to take it a step further and not just end with highlighting a long list of problems. The same people who came up with the problems (the students) would also have to come up with possible solutions that they envisioned, to solve the problem. These two tasks would be completed in 4 groups of 15 members, with each group also having some members from the MArch group guiding them through the process.
The results that came from this activity were simply mind blowing. The young students fervently applied their minds and came up with some excellent and intelligent methods that could curb the daily challenges they were encountering in their communities. This is something we had no doubt would happen, which is why we wanted to have an event such as this, and we strongly believe that young people in high schools and universities should be given frequent platforms where they are able to assert themselves and have a voice in the make up and design of the communities, as most of the problems that happen in these places are directly experienced by this age group more than any other. We hope to have many more occasions like this, where young people are given the platform to express their intelligence in pertinent matters like social design.
Meeting with the Municipality
Another important meeting that took place was with the municipality, where we once again had the opportunity to share more about what we are all about and the difference we seek to instill in the impoverished societies, with the current project being the first step to the greater goal. The impression that we left at the municipality was quite positive and they couldn’t thank us enough for the splendid job we were doing of empowering the communities that have very little to empower themselves. They expressed the desire to engage in a longstanding partnership with Andrews University to not only have this as a once off initiative, but to continue to build on it and spread its impact far and wide. The municipality further went to pledge their support to our project and gave us the ease of knowing their doors will always be open if we ever need anything from them.
We appreciate the support and help that the municipality has contributed in the continued success of this project, and we hope to build more friendships and partnerships like these, as we week to bring in this difference very swiftly across all communities.