I have a Voice, I have a Choice...
I decided to share my vision by starting with an inner speech, I developed as a commitment to remind myself that if “I have a Voice, I have a Choice”.
“I am personally responsible for the way I feel, think and act in my relationships. I can always make choices as to how I behave. Though other people and my circumstances may be difficult, nobody can remove the necessity for choice from me. Consequently I need to develop my skills of being a good chooser in my relationships. The way I learned my relationship skills in the past may have diminished my effectiveness as a chooser. Nevertheless, for the sake of my own happiness and fulfillment in the present and future, I am responsible for developing my capacity for effective choosing. I have a lot to gain from working hard to develop good relationship skills”.
If I'm honest, I always felt like a round peg in a square hole in the corporate sector, doing what I am passionate about in learning and development. Being challenged as a women when speaking out on gender issues in the workplace, remained for me a motivator to keep busy with voluntary work I’m involved in, - working with young women groups(LGBTI), teaching life skills to youth in my community while overcoming my own fears to move closer to my God-given purpose.
In South Africa, there is always a cause being taken up, in the areas of crime prevention, HIV prevention, education and skills shortage, prevention. The challenge remains that all these issues are interrelated, signalling an emerging war on our young people and children’s ability to live meaningful lives that will assist in sustaining themselves and their environment.
Furthermore, young people need to separate out, what parts of their personality and lifestyle are parts of ‘them’, and what belongs to their parents, upbringing and social environment. We become adults psychologically when we arrive at a self-concept of being responsible for our own lives and of being self directed. Likewise when young people are surrounded by social messages of hopelessness and despair, they find it hard to overcome problems in their own lives and resort to activities to feel a sense of belonging; substance abuse, feelings of worthlessness leading to suicide and violence, and therefore need guidance to develop appropriate skills, over and above what they are taught in their schools.
I have a personal responsibility to work in education and development with young women and men in South Africa.
I would like to develop a website (online training forum), that can be accessed by school goers (aged 16+) and school leavers (attending Further Education and Training colleges), this particular audience, in SA need access to self help information and relationship skills that they can apply in their lives to build their capacity and capabilities to develop a sense of self control. More importantly to have a space where they can go too and feel understood.
The online training forum will consist of three platforms: 1) A discussion forum (Thanks to WP for inspiring me to share my thoughts more freely with others), where young people can tell personal stories that help them to connect with others to inspire change; 2) A resource link (access to free personally developed training material / interactive course content); and 3) A referral database consisting of, access to services that can support them. I strive to collaborate with other advocates for young people’s rights.
I am currently working on a proposal that I aim to present to surrounding schools and community leaders to gain buy-in. As this platform will not cost users, I hope to extend it as a reference guide to be part of school curriculums and NGO’s working with youth.
It will focus and consist of various life skills training such as talking openly about sex, building self-esteem, interpersonal communication: defining oneself / expressing oneself / dealing with conflict / problem solving and decision making.
When given an opportunity to connect with others in an empowering space, young people in my country will develop a sense of identity and find a place in the world where they too can be part of tomorrow’s solutions. As a VOF correspondent I want to help make this possible.