Over 230 youth
from different districts of KwaZulu-Natal have been empowered with life skills
that will assist them to become better citizens in future after attending a
weeklong National Youth Camp.
The camp was
hosted by the Kwa-Zulu Natal Department of Sport and Recreation in partnership
with Sport and Recreation South Africa and other agencies such as Love Life at
the Sweetdale camp site in Margate on 01-08 October 2016.
The campers came
from different areas of the Province, and comprised of different races,
genders, cultures and backgrounds. The primary objective of the Youth Camp
project is to develop young people, empower them with the requisite values,
skills and knowledge that can assist them to become responsible, conscious
citizens and to strengthen their sense of patriotism and national identity.
In the Camp
participants engage in activities that are valued as social connectors and a
powerful development tools to counter a lack of adequate opportunities for
positive social interaction, unequal distribution of resources, building
leadership skills and promoting social cohesion.
In her message
MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation, Bongi Sithole-Moloi, said the Camp
is an integral part of the Department’s mandate to foster social cohesion and
nation building as well as encouraging youth to adopt active and healthy
“The camp focuses
on fostering nation building, social cohesion, leadership, character building
and volunteerism through the community outreach programme. These are the core
characteristics that we need to instil in our youth in order to ensure a
prosperous future for our country,” she said.
Department Rohini Naidoo told the youth that this programme is a stepping stone
to greatness. She encouraged them to go back to their communities and utilise
the skills they have acquired in the camp to bring change as well as make a
mark in society.
one of the campers who is from Durban expressed his satisfaction about the camp
and that had learnt a lot of things from it.
camp was a great experience and I learned a lot of things such as being able to
tolerate and trust other race groups as well as good leadership skills,” he
the National Youth Camp 2016
The Youth Camp is
a movement that encourages and promotes sport and recreation through engagement
and community services. It is a national Programme driven by Sport and
Recreation South Africa and is active in all nine provinces of South Africa. It
is committed to the holistic development and empowerment of young people of all
communities and cultural background.
objective of the Youth Camp project is to develop young people, empower them
with the requisite values, skills and knowledge that can assist them to become
responsible, conscious citizens and to strengthen their sense of patriotism and
On an annual
basis, each province will identify its “young campers" in line with
predetermined criteria, who attend provincial camps that will eventually
culminate in the national camp.
The camps are led
by SRSA working in partnership with other relevant Departments and Public
entities, particularly the National Youth Development Agency and LoveLife.
The issues that are
dealt with include:
Develop leadership skills through various life skills activities and team work.
Leadership skills include being able to inspire and direct fellow participants and
create cohesive and effective teams to achieve common goals.
cohesion is what holds society together. It provides coherence, unity and
functionality as well as an environment within which its citizens can
flourish. Develop positive bonds amongst
young people, promote tolerance and respect for diversity. South Africa has
diverse population and cultural groups. It is critical to create and develop an
interactive society, particularly amongst the youth as they are tomorrow’s
leaders. The interventions towards Social Cohesion include; community
development, inter-cultural projects, through active participation
building: Various factors have led to
youth not paying attention and pride in the South African identity. Youth
should be encouraged to take the perception of “What can I do for my country,
vs what can my country do for me”. Active participation through national
services, volunteerism and taking pride in the symbols, cultural heritage and
historical knowledge of the country are being promoted. A knowledgeable nation
is a cornerstone of a growing society. Explore common grounds e.g National
symbols, and emblems, sharing of heritage and proudly South African, an
opportunity for young people to learn about the common symbols that binds
communities together such as flags, anthems, national days, and in a sports
context, national teams.
The Youth Camps
are viewed as a major agent in the socio-political arena of development work
and as a change agent for an enhanced quality of life, community regeneration
or cohesion, human development and empowerment.