As a disciplined ACTIVATE! Network and rural Limpopo ambassador, I will make sure that I create long lasting strategic partnerships that can bring about real change into the lives of the poorest. I will make them realise that our people are capable of excelling when given the right information and support.’’
These are the words of hard working Limpopo-based Activator, Motsatsi Mmola, who is selected to represent South Africa in Oslo (Norway) in August. Her European training trip aims are to empower African community developers.
Motsatsi co-founded Bophelong Youth Project in 2015. The Zebediela NGO, Lepelle-Nkumpi Municipal based organisation improves the community by providing assistance to children with homework assignments, educational programmes, health programmes, therapeutic programmes for children and developmental skills especially for orphans and vulnerable children.
Over and above fulfilling its mandate, Bophelong Youth Project has also been involved in key social development care service initiatives like, basic health care to the community, Direct Observation Therapy (DOTS) to chronic patients in the community, food parcels and clothes to needy families and community health work courses.
Later this year, all selected trainees will participate in the global youth leadership exchange programme. Trainees will be allocated to help differently startup community development projects across Africa. Motsatsi has been assigned into a Kenyan NGO that is need of someone who has her leadership skills.
Motsatsi says she intends to use all the European and Kenyan information and contacts to empower Limpopo rural areas.
‘’Opportunities like this come only once in your life. So, I am going there with a specific, measurable, realistic and timeless unconventional plan that will see all those around me benefiting for many decades to come,” says Motsatsi.
The Public Management graduate attributes her passion for community development and astute leadership to ACTIVATE! Leadership, her mentor Patience Raseona and close friend Junior Kenya.
‘’Although many people might see this achievement as result of my ongoing hard work, resilience and determination, for me the real heroes and heroines of my success are my mentors Patience and Junior and of course the Activate Network. They all helped support me, even during the days where I wanted to give up,’’ says Motsatsi
The soft spoken young leader who has encountered countless challenges still refuses to allow what she calls ‘’the lethal, luring luxury and self-centered material world treasurers’’ to deter her from making life changing contributions in people’s lives through her community developement.
“The love for my people, community and country couldn’t allow me to sleep well at night while knowing that there are dozens of young promising souls that will die poor because the system deliberately deprives them access to academic information that could change their lives forever. That and many other social injustices are the reasons I decided to do what I am doing,’’ she says.
‘’For many years, the capitalist system thrived on unpatriotic and gullible rural educated youth who found comfort in opting for easy money making careers. That is one of the reasons today you see all these big cities or successful empires continue accumulating wealth while rural labour scrambles for scraps. Rural born youth give themselves over to be exploited rather than building home towns and their own facilities,’’ Motsatsi explains
Supporting youth and their initiatives is the only viable solution
Independent community development expert Motlalepula Mmesi believes continued support by all key global economic and social stakeholders will benefit from thought provoking youth led initiatives like that of Motsatsi’s. Eliminating most social ills (like crime and unemployment) and shift in focus toward fostering entrepreneurship among youths could be one of the most effective means to mitigate both unemployment and social affliction in disadvantaged communities in South Africa.
‘’Inclusive community development should, in theory, produce long lasting self-sustaining minded people and communities. Unfortunately that is not happening in the current South African social set up because our outdated system still restricts innovative youth ideas and initiatives. We, as the country can only move forward if government authorities, economic captains and civil society formations fully support young leaders like Motsatsi.’’
Social change drivers all over South Africa congratulated Motsatsi Mmola and wished her well in the forthcoming European training and African continent exchange programme.