Rustenburg: Young people have the power to change the future, North West MEC for Sports, Arts and Culture Tebogo Modise said on Sunday at the official opening of one of the National Youth Camps being held across the country.
“We wish to emphasise that the notion that you are the future of this country is not a mere saying, it is a real source of inspiration as we embark on projects such as this one. We want you to understand your role in society now and in the future,” said Modise, speaking at the Rustenburg camp.
“We want you to know that your actions and thoughts today have a bearing on what becomes of tomorrow. We want you to know that you are the future of South Africa and that you will play a meaningful role in world history,” she said.
Government is hosting National Youth Camps for youths aged between 14 and 25 in all nine provinces. The camps are aimed at empowering young South Africans by teaching them about leadership, social cohesion and nation building through sports, outdoor adventure games and other activities.
“Through these camps we want youths to close down the bitter history of this country which promoted segregation amongst our communities,” said the MEC.
The young people will also play a variety of board games including Muravharavha and the highlight of the camp will be a cultural evening concert where the youth will be singing and dancing.
Many of the camps will be visited by well-known personalities who will present talks and workshops, further enhancing the value of the project.
Retired footballer Fabian McCarthy said: “I want to be part of the developing progress of young people in the North-West, where I was born, not through giving out money because money can’t buy happiness and leadership skills.”
The week-long camps, done in collaboration with the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and LoveLife and organised by provincial departments of sport, will take place in mostly rural areas.
Each camp will embark on an outreach activity to help neighbouring communities that may be in need.
Youth sport and recreation networks are an important source and means for social networking, helping to combat exclusion and for fostering youth capacity to work collectively towards the realization of opportunities and addressing the challenges faced by young people.