ACTIVATE! Change Drivers Network Support Newsletter - Quarter 1, 2020

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Showcasing interventions of one of the largest youth networks in the country.

“The first quarter of the year 2020, will go down in history as one of the toughest times we have faced as the human race, in modern history by far. And what has been amazing to observe is humanity’s response when we are faced with a threat to our lives, our families and our country. Most economists have predicted even scarier times ahead as we face the current global health pandemic. And as the country’s youth yet again we find ourselves potentially at the forefront of being hardest hit by COVID-19 due to the numerous challenges and social ills faced every day. The ACTIVATE! Network, is a network of over 4000 young South Africans that have taken our President’s call to rally together, look out for each other, stand tall and play our part in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 to heart. This quarter’s publication will showcase work done by Activators in their communities to drive change for the public good. These stories of hope are meant to change the narrative of youth in our country and to spark more collaborations between Activators and local stakeholders in the different communities. John Maxwell teaches that growth is possible in times of despair. Growth is possible when you feel uncertain. Growth is possible at any time, as long as you pursue growth with intention. We are ready. We are ACTIVATE! Change Drivers.” Bongi Ndlovu Capacity Building Manager and 2013 KZN Activator For any queries or possible partnerships, please contact Bongi:


Connect & Inspire: The Connect Inspire portfolio acts as the communications department for ACTIVATE! The portfolio launched the Youth Voices on COVID-19 campaign to inspire young people across the country by showcasing youth voices and shining the spotlight on the inspiring initiatives that youth in the country have undertaken during the lockdown. The Activators and citizen journalists within the network have heeded President Ramaphosa’s call to come up with solutions that will move the country forward. 2018 Activator from Gauteng, Relotegile Malepe, and her peers have started a campaign called “School Your Elder” in their community. Malepe and other young people have taken the pledge to read to the elderly in an attempt to decrease anxiety and panic around the pandemic. Malepe initiated and manages this campaign from Malaysia where she currently resides because she knew that people from her village in South Africa needed someone to teach them about the seriousness of the virus. Another Activator, Monti Montsha has taken it upon himself to encourage the Municipality of Alexandra to reach out and provide aid for the homeless and the Nyaope drug addicts who are roaming the streets of Alexandra as they are most at risk during this time. Part of the campaign will celebrate young people who work in essential services during lockdown. These Activators leave their families so we can be safe with ours. The profiles are posted on social media weekly. Another aspect of the Youth Voices on Covid-19 campaign is the 21 Poems of Encouragement for 21 days of lockdown which is an Activator-led project that seeks to inspire and encourage the nation during lockdown. The online poetry project is headed by Activator Xolane Ngobozana and uses spoken word to make South Africans conscious of COVID-19 while offering some encouragement. You can find updates around the campaign on our social media platforms: Facebook: Activate Change Drivers Twitter: @ActivateZA Instagram: activate_za If you would like to partner with ACTIVATE! on any of our campaigns please contact Kim:


A! Health Sector: The ACTIVATE! Health Sector is excited to welcome new Sector Head, 2014 KZN Activator Patrick Mcombothi, who will be based in our KZN Nodal office. He is passionate about providing a bridge between health professionals and Activators in an effort to professionalise the network’s work. The focus for the Health Sector for the year will be championing the National Youth and Adolescent Health Policy 2017, with a focus on HIV/AIDS among South African youth to reduce risky behavior by highlighting Pro-Youth Health Solutions. The Health Champions also provide youth-friendly initiatives, innovative solutions and community engagements such as Tavern Hackathons, Clean up Campaigns and various other social media campaigns aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles among communities, and youth in particular. Patrick, has hit the ground running and together with the Health Champions have hosted hackathons and webinars in local communities. They are currently at the forefront of various interventions during the COVID19 outbreak. He wishes to professionalise the work of the sector by formalising relationships at local level and increase support to Activators who stay in remote areas.

“We cannot separate the issues of HIV/AIDS prevention without looking at the application of the national friendly youth zones in clinics.” - 2014 KZN Activator Nkosikhona Mpungose & Founder Youth Inter-Action during the 1st HIV/ AIDS Hackathon on the 06032020 If you would like to partner with ACTIVATE! on any of our campaigns please contact:


A! Youth Economic Participation: The ACTIVATE! Youth Economic Participation (YEP) Sector, focuses mainly on championing the youth’s participation within the country’s economy through entrepreneurship and support for young job seekers. With a mammoth task at hand, 2013 GP Activator, Nathacia Olivier who also runs her own skincare business, Indoni Skin Care heads the sector. Within the first quarter, the YEP sector has reached the following milestones: • The sector has hosted 2 online webinars that set the sector’s focus for the year and has identified the key economic policies that they will champion like the neglected National Youth Economic Empowerment Strategy 2009-2019 and the incoming National Youth Policy 2020-2030. They also hosted the 2020 Budget Speech Twitter campaign where the network unpacked the plan and unpacked governments planned budget allocation. • The sector also hosted the first Imbizo of the year, in partnership with BrandSA in SchweizerReneke, North West. The Imbizo identified key local partners within Mamusa Local Municipality, such as the NYDA and other key stakeholders, especially the unemployed youth so that they work together to develop the community. Activators from all districts in the NW travelled to attend the Imbizo and to strengthen local partnerships and assist in growing their interventions. The Honorable Deputy Minister Thembi Siweya from the office of the Presidency was key note speaker, as well as the municipal mayor, Dr. Gotsilekgosi Batsi. The Imbizo was also an opportunity for ACTIVATE! to strategically position itself as the youth development trainer within the province. The YEP Sector is currently developing a strategy to combat the drastic impact that COVID-19 will have on emerging SMMES in the country. The sector seeks to source grants and funds made available by government and to open up discussions with the Department of Communications and Technologies around 5G and its implication on the country’s health and economy. If you would like to partner with ACTIVATE! on any of our campaigns please contact:


A! Interconnectedness & Inclusivity: The ACTIVATE! Interconnectedness and Inclusivity Sector (I&I) seeks to address social cohesion in the country by running various interventions that target Gender-Based Violence and Racism. Our country’s gruesome history has given the youth of today an inheritance of violence, inequality, hate and injustice which lie at the core of most social ills. The sector is headed by 2015 WC Activator, Nkokheli Mankanyi, who is a non-binary, passionate and hardworking social justice and LGBTI antiviolence activist. With a sector reach of 236 Activators, 74 of which are currently running initiatives across the network in all 9 provinces, the sector aims to promote and encourage social cohesion.

ADVOCACY Advocating for policy reform and responsive approach to addressing and achieving gender equality and addressing Gender based violence



Capacitating youth Champions to share skills and capacitate community members and Activators through Movement building

To effectively take on a responsive approach to achieving gender equality as per critical issues pointed provincially

PUBLIC EDUCATION AND ENGAGEMENT To create Platforms of engagement with thought leaders and institutions especially chapter 9 institutions working to address SDG 5 and 16 and its localization

The sector seeks to achieve the following milestones in 2020: • Activator representation on Youth Monitoring Forums or youth-lead Councils is each province. • Contributing to Youth related matters on Gender equality in South African through the Policy Framework to address Gender- Based Violence in the Post-School Education and Training System. • Collaborative efforts between Provincial Activators with partners to decrease duplication of work which also will work better in terms of accountability.. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the sector will focus on Human Rights violations by SANDF and SAPS to ensure that our country does not digress back to our violent past. It will also focus on providing support for citizens who are stuck in lockdown with their abusers. This response will be initiated in collaboration with partners such as Lawyers For Human Rights and POWA. If you would like to partner with ACTIVATE! on any of our campaigns please contact:


A! Literacy: “A young mind comes to age with engagement, not time.” ― 2019 EC Activator, Lutho Gwanya, The Literacy Sector’s objective for 2020 is to equip young people of South Africa to be innovative active citizens, influencing and provoking positive change for the global good. Headed by 2013 GP Activator, Mzwandile Msimanga, who is a fervent literacy activist and has years of experience in the sector. In 2020, the A! Literacy sector is part of the National Reading Coalition community reference group. The NRC is responsible for coordinating the reading revolution that was launched by the president in February 2019. This platform is made up of various organisations that play a prominent role in the literacy space, these are our #FriendsOfLiteracy which are Nalibali, Fundza, Department of Basic Education, Word Works, COSAS, Bridge, Better Africa and the National Education Collaborative Trust just to name a few. In honour of World Read Aloud Day which took place on the 5th of February 2020, we partnered with the National Reading Coalition to host reading aloud sessions on the 6th of February in Ekurhuleni (GP) at Monde Primary School, Lungisani Primary School, Keketso Primary School, Ukhanyiso Primary School, Intokozo Primary School and Khumalo Primary School and reached 6200 learners. On the 11th till the 13th of March, we participated in a capacity building workshop where we trained attendees on Design Thinking, Project Planning and conducting Hack4Change Hackathon. This was part of the NRC integrated training presented by ACTIVATE! Nal’ibali and Fundza for youth leaders from all 9 provinces of South Africa, and these included five activators based in Gauteng. We are always so humbled by all our partners who offer opportunities to our Activators. Their kindness and generosity never go unnoticed. We see Literacy as a fundamental precondition for human development. It allows human beings to feel a sense of belonging to a community through their ability to understand what is around them and to take advantage of what society can offer them. Therefore, Literacy is the acquisition of competencies that enable one to thrive as functional citizen. Hence, for us being literate is to be human unlike the mere notion of just the ability to read and write. Literacy is the precondition for development, it enables us to be educated, to participate in the economy and to engage in the socio-political issues. In this Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) period, we need to pull together and explore new ways to ensure that we still drive change while curbing the effects of COVID-19 on the attainment of literacy for all.

If you would like to partner with ACTIVATE! on any of our campaigns please contact:


A! Youth Hubs:

It was great to kick start the new year off with the launch of four new Resource Hubs in partnership with the British Council through their Creating Opportunities for South African Youth (COSY) project. The Youth Resource Hubs were introduced in 2015, with the sole purpose of providing Activators with physical spaces to build connections, share information and opportunities beyond the ACTIVATE! residential training programme. On the 24th and 25th of January we handed over the A! Youth Resource Hubs to the communities of KwaTsaDuza (GP), Phillipi (WC), Zwide (EC) and Bhambayi (KZN). These resource hubs were furnished with three laptops, a projector, a Wi-Fi router with uncapped internet connectivity for 6 months, stationery, a notice board and an income generating component through a popcorn machine or fries machine. The launches attracted various local stakeholders who will be part of the sustainability of the A! Youth Resources Hubs, such ward counsellors, local businesses, local media, youth forums and NGOs. We presently have 70 Youth Hubs across the country that aim to create real spaces with real connections for real and sustainable impact. We strive to contribute to the success of these hubs through adding more resources and we will be embarking on a journey of setting up reading corners and libraries at these community nodes of hope. Connected Youth = Empowered Youth A! Youth Resource Hubs Contact person: Malusi Mazibuko