“The children of any nation are its future. A country, a movement, a person that does not value its youth and children does not deserve its future.” – Oliver Reginald Tambo
These wise words by the late ANC president, activist, lawyer, teacher and dignified leader could not ring truer today, as South Africa marks Youth Day on the anniversary of the 1976 Soweto uprising.
As we remember the brave students who stood up against inferior education and demanded to be taught in the language of their choice on that highveld winter’s morning exactly 45 years ago, quality education remains key to economic and social growth.
Flow is proud to be working with many clients who understand this and who are drivers for youth empowerment. Here’s a snapshot of the work done by just a few of them.
Providing a platform, and access to funding
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has always been an activist for change and a supporter of the youth. On the fateful 16 June violent crackdown against students, he was there to support them and teachers in the aftermath, and his involvement helped facilitate the Soweto Parents Crisis Committee set up in the wake of the bloodbath.
Today, it is the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation’s mission to showcase young, dynamic and ethical leaders, and to support them in leading crucial debates on issues such as equality in education, health, climate change and how to turn conflict to peace.
Flow is honoured to support the foundation in its work, including the production of the first-ever online Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture through its Curated Conversations online platform in October 2020.
The event provided a global platform to (among other speakers) two young African environmental activists, South African Ayakha Melithafa and Ugandan Vanessa Nakate, to speak about the devastating effects of climate change for their countries and their futures, and to call on people and nations to work together for climate justice.
Another Flow client that believes young people have a firm place in helping to rebuild South Africa’s economy is the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (sefa), whose vision is to be the leading catalyst for the development of sustainable SMMEs and cooperatives through the provision of finance.
The agency encourages and assists young entrepreneurs (and other small-business owners) to access funding to grow their businesses, including through direct lending and support programmes related to various industries, to contribute towards poverty alleviation, job creation and economic growth.
Flow is thrilled to play a part in helping sefa highlight young entrepreneurs on its social media channels during Youth Month and to publicise initiatives such as a webinar taking place on 22 June for young entrepreneurs on how to access funding.
Following Madiba’s example
Nelson Mandela had a very strong affinity for the youth and a belief in education to help them prosper. Much of Madiba’s work in his later years was directed at the needs of young people, including through the Nelson Mandela Foundation, a long-standing Flow client.
The message behind the Nelson Mandela International Day campaign is simple – that each individual has the ability and responsibility to make an impact through public service.
Two of the Mandela Day goals are to provide a quality education for all children, and to ensure that all children have access to the necessary learning resources for early childhood development. Although Mandela Day is celebrated annually on Mandela’s birthday, 18 July, the campaign continues throughout the year.
Flow is proud to have been associated with the foundation over many years.
Helping young people grow
Youth education and training are close to the heart of yet another of our clients, the train manufacturer Gibela, which believes its responsibility is to help communities grow, including through early childhood development and educational initiatives.
Gibela’s programme to improve school-level maths and science teaching and learning at seven high schools in disadvantaged communities near its manufacturing plant in Nigel, Ekurhuleni, has been so rewarding that it is adding coding in the 2022 financial year.
Maths and science programmes for students from Grade 10 to Grade 12 had benefited more than 3 460 learners and teachers by March 2020.
Gibela runs various training programmes for the youth, and has a bursary programme to empower students across the country to pursue career paths that would otherwise be out of their reach, as well as internships to help young people gain practical experience. Flow is pleased to work with this community-minded client on its communications needs.
Helping to drive the economy
Efficient transport is a vital cog in helping the economy to function and grow. Since February this year, the Gautrain – another one of our clients – has been running a campaign enabling students up to the age of 25 to ride the Gautrain using a 25%-off promotion.
The initiative encourages students to register for student cards that allow them to save 25% on trips between two stations, any day of the week, during peak and off-peak times.
Flow has been involved by creating a microsite housing all the information students need, including fares and terms and conditions. We also created organic and paid posts, as well as artwork, for social media.
It’s all about education
More than 250 000 primary and high school learners have participated in two-hour walking tours at the top of the mountain, offered to schools at the special concession rate of R45 per learner. The young people not only get to experience the beauty of the mountain, but also get specially designed worksheets as part of the package.
Another Flow client, Wits Business School’s entire focus is on uplifting and growing the youth through its varied degree and diploma courses.
Flow assists WBS with publicising its offerings on social media and promoting its students, teaching corps and alumni, including through its regular #AlumniSuccessStories series that focuses on alumni making their mark in the world of business.
Last, but certainly not least, are the many schools instrumental in shaping young South African lives – the leaders of the future – that Flow is delighted to have worked with over many years.
We wish everyone a peaceful and happy Youth Day and, above all, a bright future for the beautiful young people of our country.