The Journey Must Go On.

Life Skills graduation with Nelly.
Life Skills graduation with Nelly.

It has been four months since the future leaders team refreshed the program and added some crucial elements to its content. The last four months have proven to be an exceptional period for both the Future Leaders and the staff team. Ploughing through uncharted territory has proved to be both challenging but tremendously rewarding.

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Machi Life Skills lead by Sthe

The newer elements that were auxiliary to the already mind expanding and character building Future Leaders program were psychosocial groups, video tracking and an HIV support group. All of these were added to improve the holistic growth potential of the Future Leaders, where they are viewed not just as volunteers for NAG at Community Based Organisations and UNISA students but also as people with psychosocial elements to address.

One of the core principals in this approach has been to establish a sense of individualization in a team setting. We have seen Future Leaders step up and form a choir that is full of life and excitement, we have seen Future Leaders take lead in meetings and facilitate their own ice breakers and claim their worth and space in a shared environment. All of that being done without stepping on toes. We have also seen an emerging culture of brotherhood and sisterhood and both personal and peer accountability.

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Sane demonstrating workflow board at AGM

Many of the Future Leaders have shown improvement in their work ethic. Meaning that the Community Based Organizations they serve are making administrative and at times logistical progress which in-tern improves the services provided to the community. That is a great deal dealt with by Nelisiwe Rabukana and Nosipho Gumede. They work tirelessly to asses and fuel the Future Leaders while guiding them as to what is expected of them, then help them achieve it.

The journey has not been without its challenges, tireless working and constant affirmation and rectifying. The psychosocial process has been an adventure that Sthembile and I ventured on four months ago. Little could have prepared us for what lay ahead. That being said, we had the brilliant Maria Liggett on our side to guide us and help us regroup our minds.

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The ever gentle and smiling Sithembile

The journey has been filled with tears, uncontrollable laughter, confusion and a growing sense of closeness. There has also been a reciprocated principle of respect. We have learnt that we are all flawed humans and we need to support each other. We all carry burdens and no one’s problem is more special than the other’s as everyone’s pain is real to them. We reach out through one on one counselling and everyone has a story, we share similar traits but our circumstances are tremendously unique.

The journey continues. We are growing stronger, all of us, the staff team and the Future Leaders. We are finding our feet, our place and our voice together. Strong relationships for a strong program.

We go on camp again this week and we are all so excited. To learn more, to love more, to live more.

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Me changing a tire with Msizi. Team work. But he looks concerned with the way I am holding that spanner. 🙂