Monday, 16 May 2016

Nelson Mandela Foundation launches new youth engagement forum

 The Civics Academy ( offers short‚ informative videos covering topics around democracy‚ governance‚ elections‚ political parties‚ the justice system‚ the Constitution‚ economics‚ civil society and the environment.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation in partnership with the Hanns Seidel Foundation aims to constructively engage youth groups with issues crucial to South Africa’s constitutional democracy.

“Young people are often assumed to be taking the democracy they have inherited for granted. Headline-grabbing events on university campuses across the country and heated discussion on social media platforms often entrench the notion that South Africa’s youth are unwilling to resolve conflicts through meaningful dialogue and that they are dispirited‚ disinterested‚ aggressive and destructive‚” the foundation says.
The first in a series of Civics Academy Youth Dialogue events‚ recently held with about 100 young people at the Nelson Mandela Foundation‚ confirmed that these assumptions deserve to be scrutinised and challenged‚ it says.

The event started out with a lively brainstorming session‚ “What do I love about South Africa”‚ leading to calls for action on what young people are committed to do in order to maintain and protect the democracy they inherited. This was followed by a debate on issues crucial to the Constitution‚ marking the 20th birthday celebration of the highest law of the land.

Their engagement was moderated and judged by Dr Mamphela Ramphele‚ Luvuyo Mandela‚ Ranjeni Munusamy‚ Panashe Chigumadzi and Shaeera Kalla.
Says Luvuyo Mandela: “What this group of people just showed is that the young people from today are far from apathetic‚ they are far from void of solutions and they are quite passionate about this country and where they want it to be.”

Dr Ramphele called for more investment in South African youth: “You cannot have a strong constitutional democracy without civic education‚” she said. “Here are young people who are able to get informed and have the right values and are prepared to live the dream. The future is safe in their hands. We just have to let my generation hand over to this generation.”

Sello Hatang‚ Chief Executive Officer of the Nelson Mandela Foundation‚ says: “Each and every generation needs to learn what democracy means‚ how it works and why it is so important for the future of South Africa. Democracy requires civics education‚ and Civics Academy is our initiative to promote responsible citizenship through a better understanding of our democratic system and an appreciation of our constitutional achievements.”

Source- Sowetan

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