The Story of how Activator Sizi Botsime is revolutionizing the state of our education in South Africa.
Written by: Tlotliso May
Activators have a common denominator amongst themselves which is to not only integrate societal issues but to ensure that they device ways and means to solve the said problems – This is ensued through personal capacities and by utilizing the ACTIVATE! Network’s methodologies, it is more convenient when a person joins the network while set on an upward and onward trajectory in activism.
After he completed his training, Activator, Botsime- who is a seasoned teacher by profession- was well sharpened and on his way to changing his corner of South Africa and Southern Africa. He was getting ready to move to Nigeria, as a teacher, soon after his graduation. His community has always been at the centre of his activism endeavour, which is clearly reflected in his reason for joining the network. “I wanted to sharpen my leadership program and acquire skills to empower and transform the lives of the people in my community” explains Botsime on his core reason for joining the network.
Botsime established an organisation called Sizi Botsime Foundation, an educational foundation that focuses on empowering children living with disabilities and their parents, while concurrently bridging the gap between abled and differently abled people. He aims to do this through providing psychological and emotional support for these children and their parents by establishing easily accessible and permeable support groups for the parents and interested persons. Another key component and reason for the existence of the organisation is to address and redress inequality and exclusion in education and schools by promoting inclusion through the aforementioned mission. The organisation has helped one lady with an injustice she was facing through the department of education. The foundation managed, despite the many challenges it faced, to inform her about the procedures she needed to follow in order to get justice. This, as he explains, is just a tip of the iceberg as the organisation aims to assist even the boarders of South Africa.
The organisation firmly believes that education preparation for and life itself – that is why it should be accessible to all. The founder believes that people should be provided with education and an opportunity to learn through tailor made educational facilities that enable them to flourish and learn in a conducive environment. The ultimate goal hoped for with this initiative is to see people with challenges being prioritized and given an equal chance in life.
When candidates leave the ACTIVATE! CHANGE DRIVERS programme they are well equipped with skills that they can use to effect change in their communities. The skills range from identifying the problem and coming up with solutions to project management. Activator held a 3 day project in Thabanchu at a school called Mokae Public School, where the first two days were about cleaning and painting the school and the last day was about workshopping the teachers on the 21st century teaching skills. The skills he learned and used from Module one and two were, but not limited to, Innovative thinking – This enabled him to come up with solutions that were not explored at first and bring to light different methods in solving problems. Problem Solving – The second stop of any successful project is coming up with solutions to solve the problem. It was easy for him because he could use the skills he learnt from the network to think about the problem and find solutions thereof. Networking and Leadership – In executing a successful project one often has to partner with other same-interest parties to ensure that their common effort, experience, capabilities and knowledge yield more successful results. This was a pivotal component in this project because he had to lead a team in executing this vision and ensure that he networks his way through partnerships which he calls “Friends of Sizi Botsime foundation”. It is evident that the skills that the network offers its applicants and candidates have a real life efficacy since that came in handy in this project and many others.
Botsime would like to extend an invitation to All South Africans to be beneficiaries of this movement and to be a part of the members who help make this organisation a success.