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Reflections on our first YouthBank training workshop

Colleen Alexander-Julies

SCAT’s first YouthBank training took place from the 23rd to 26th of April 2018. This is the start of our pilot YouthBank project funded by the Global Fund for Community Foundations (GFCF).

I had the pleasure of co-facilitating with Jeremy Maarman from the South African Youth Leadership Network. It took place at Onze Rust, a guest farm just outside Stellenbosch which lends itself beautifully to this kind of training. I had previously been a participant on YouthBank training but this was my first time as a facilitator.

SCAT is working in partnership with SAYLN. Jeremey is an experienced facilitator and he took the lead. Participants ranged in age and came from various regions of the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape. The geographical mix and age range made for dynamic discussions and participants expressed how useful they have found the diversity of the group.

As this was my first time facilitating a YouthBank training session, I was anxious about the outcome. However, there was no need to stress as the flow and sequence of activities and discussions were perfect for reaching the objectives of the training. Jeremy’s ease in facilitation helped to create the right atmosphere conducive for learning in an active but also participative way. The combination of exercises and discussions contributed to building understanding about the YouthBank concept, philosophy and practice.

Enriched with this insight the participants left the training with practical skills required for planning and implementing the YouthBank model in their own communities. And I left much richer for this educational experience…

Post workshop participants’ comments:

“Die spanwerk tydens die workshop was vir my iets besonders waar mense bymekaar kon uitkom uit verskeie agtergronde en saamwerk om ‘n verskil te maak in hul verskeie gemeenskappe”. (Translation “The teamwork during the workshop was something special; people coming from various communities and backgrounds working together to make a difference in their communities.”) Christopher Smith (Citrusdal Matzikama AIDS Network).

“Being part of the YouthBank workshop provided me with the necessary skills and know-how of taking ownership of young people’s challenges and addressing them with the necessary training and educational programmes as the solution of the matter. I have learned ways on how to recruit the youth to the YouthBank and how to promote it…can’t wait to kick start…” Eugene Mapotolo (Beaufort West Legal Advice and Development Office).



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