Dlomodlomo Secondary School in Mpumalanga is the 2011 national winner of the second annual Youth Citizens Action Programme (YCAP), check scooping a cheque for R25 000 for its project which focused on substance abuse prevention in its community.
YCAP is an initiative of Afrika Tikkun, capsule Heartlines and The Department of Basic Education sponsored by Deutsche Bank. It challenges Grade 10 learners to actively demonstrate what it means to be a good citizen. Competing schools have to develop a concept project to address a challenge within their school or community – and then actually implement it.
The finals of YCAP, shop held at Afrika Tikkun’s Centre of Excellence in Alexandra Township, Johannesburg on Saturday, 1 October was the culmination of months of hard work by the nine competing high schools which had already won their respective provincial competitions, along with R15 000 each in prize money. Four people from each province (two learners, the teacher and district official) were sponsored by the organisers to attend the event.
Cedar High School of Mitchells Plain, Western Cape was the runner up and received a cheque for R15 000 for a project dealing with knowledge and learning. Third place and R10 000 went to KZN’s Ridge Park College for its project on teen pregnancy.
In the final round of YCAP 2011, the grade 10s presented their projects to a panel of five judges, including Dr Shermain Mannah, Director: Race and Values in Education at the National Department of Basic Education; Kirsten Koertsier of the sponsor Deutsche Bank; Archie Sithole of Heartlines which provided the workbooks used by the learners and administration support; Amanda Blankfield of Afrika Tikkun; and Kai Crooks-Chissano of Camp I Am.
According to Amanda Blankfield of Afrika Tikkun, the grade 10 Dlomodlomo Secondary School learners went the extra mile with their project. They approached SAPS and the Department of Health to help them discourage substance abuse at their school and surrounding community. They organised a march with hundreds of people and started support groups for recovering substance abusers. In addition, they made local tavern owners sign a pledge to avoid selling to under 18s and those in uniform. To get their message across, they spoke on their local community radio station – Radio Alpha – to create awareness on the dangers of drug abuse.
They aim to use their prize money to develop sports and recreation facilities to keep the youth off the streets and out of trouble.
Dr Mannah said: “The Department of Basic Education bears a particular responsibility in building an equitable and peace loving society, with a shared sense of national identity and greater social cohesion. Such a responsibility cannot be fulfilled without the support of our partners in education.
“The support of Afrika Tikkun, Deutsche Bank and Heartlines through the YCAP Programme has been instrumental in promoting good citizenship, critical thinking and transformation among our learners.”
The award for best provincial coordinator went to Kwa-Zulu Natal and Ms BIG Khumalo accepted the gift on behalf of her province.
One of the highlights of the day was Miss South Africa 2010, Bokang Montjane’s motivational speech where she told the learners she is proud of them and they can achieve whatever they set their minds to regardless of their backgrounds or circumstances.
The other provincial winners who participated in the national finals (and their project topics) were:
Eastern Cape – Holy Cross High School (Environment)
Free State – Mmathabo Secondary (Substance Abuse)
Gauteng – Zakariyya Park Combined School (Teenage Pregnancy)
Limpopo – Letheba High School (Environment)
North West – Tiger Kloof Combined School (Knowledge and Learning)
Northern Cape – Alexanderbay Secondary (Teenage Pregnancy)