Name: Nonhlanhla Dube
Province: Gauteng, City of Ekurhuleni
Facebook: BlackBird Projects
Write a short blurb (summary) about yourself. In no more than three sentences.
I am Nonhlanhla Dube, a community newspaper writer and a change driver. I’ve been volunteering since 2013 during varsity days. I’m a mother of 2 and believe this somehow has influenced my passion and interest in driving change in young people’s lives.
Why did you decide to be part of the ACTIVATE! Network?
I figured being part of a group of like-minded individuals would help me find direction in this industry of giving back and driving change.
What did you enjoy the most about training?
I enjoyed quite a number of things, but mostly I enjoyed meeting young change drivers from different places across SA and hearing from them the challenges they are facing in their communities and learning the different strategies they use to tackle them. I also enjoyed module 3, I still think it should be adopted as a subject in schools.
How has training helped you or changed your perspective?
It has helped me look beyond my challenges and not let the frustrations of the social ills we face in my community get to me. It has also helped me have a network and support of people I can look up to and call on when the going gets tough. The training also equipped me with information I wouldn’t normally get in a textbook.
Have you been inspired and been the inspiration in your community and those you interact with?
I believe I have been an inspiration yes ☺ I have been inspired by a lot of things in my community, mostly things that i believe need to be changed or addressed.
What do you think the role of the youth is in developing the country?
I think our role is to do things differently, change peoples perspectives by provoking what they already know and teaching them new, better ways of thinking, taking decision and acting. We should be at the forefront of driving the change in our communities and making our “leaders” account. We should be at the forefront of changing policies and protecting our own, as young people we should infiltrate those decision making positions.
What is your field of interest?
My general interest is community development, right now I have programs focusing on young people and the youth.
How are you driving change in your community/How would you like to drive change in your community?
I recently co-found an NPO called BlackBird Projects, under it I have various projects that we plan to implement. One that has been running for a year is called #KiddiesBookClubTembisa; it’s a holiday book club program that runs on school and public holidays. Due to availability and funding issues we can only run once a week, for only 2 hours. We have also just started to run fundraising campaign #ThriftForChange to help us raise funds that we need to run the various projects we have lined up.
Now that you have completed training, how do you plan to keep active in the network?
I plan to keep in touch by joining the various Whatsapp groups, to keep in touch with member of the network. Especially those near to me and those that are working in the same field as I do, I also plan to attend events that I can get to.
What are your plans for this year?
This year the plan is to grow and stabilise the #KiddiesBookClubTembisa program, to create other means of raising funds, to start and run a successful human trafficking campaign in my region in Tembisa and to establish partnerships with local businesses and other nonprofit organisations and government entities.
Is social media an effective way by which you can receive communication from us?
I’ve recently quit Facebook and Twitter; however Whatsapp and Email have been the best source of communication.
Additional information you would like us to know?
A bit about #ThriftForChange
I was sexually harassed while I was working on a community development project a couple of months ago. I figured it would continue to happen everywhere I went knocking and asking for help for my NPO, BlackBirds Projects and projects we are running in the hood. I then decided to come up with a unique way to help us raise the funds we need, while getting the community indirectly supporting our initiatives.
To avoid asking people to donate money, we’re collecting re-sellable stuff to sell to people at thrift prices, instead of just giving the clothes away. We’re collecting donations in a form of clothes, furniture, deco stuff or stationery- anything really. Please support the #ThriftForChange campaign.