New Mind-tour youth federation emphasizes savings

By Kwanele Sibanda, CORC

The Mind-tour youth federation of North West hosted a successful dialogue that was supported by a number of stakeholders. The event was held on the 7th of May 2011 and was attended by representatives from the following: South African Savings Institute, Lonemill Platinum Mine, NACTO, SASKO, Mugalie’s Juice Produce, CORC, FEDUP (Gauteng and North West), Department of Arts Sports and Culture as well as Shift (TV programme). The one-day-event held at the Oukasie community hall attracted 621 people.

The main objectives of the dialogue were to: expose more youth to the youth federation and the work that it does, strengthen the partnership with the existing companies/CBOs/organisation as well as raising awareness about the importance of savings amongst youth.

Mind-tour was established in February 2011, explained Kopano Molokoane, one of the 20 Mind-tour members. To date it has saved R 1500 which are kept in the group’s own bank account.  More than 85 percent of Oukasie youth that complete their matric are not able to further their studies. Further research into the issue revealed that a lack of sufficient information limits the chances of matriculants to proceed. The kind of information that they are missing includes what is offered by universities and colleges, due dates for applying as well as how and where to apply for bursaries.

The inability to further their studies is one amongst many challenges that are currently hindering a better future for youth residing in a settlement such as Oukasie.

Bearing this in mind, a group of youth – most of them having been exposed to SDI rituals through the membership of their parents in FEDUP – adopted this methodology and began to mobilise others through savings.  Partnerships have been created with organisations that are relevant to the needs of the youth. Some of these organisations are:

LONEMILL PLATINUM MINE – assists them with bursaries for science and technology courses.

NACTO – they identify, create, develop, produce, maintain, and promote arts and culture talent.

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION – have partnered in line with expanding the savings concept in schools.

BOSCH AND FIRE STONE – employment for the unemployed.

All speakers emphasized the importance of savings. Ester, one of the North West Federation members, motivated the youth when she said: “There is a huge difference between someone who starts saving at an early age and one who starts at a later stage in life. Save with a goal in mind, and you will achieve it.”

In between presentations and speeches, the audience was kept entertained by inspiring songs and educative drama. The attention of the audience was captured as there were presents given to those who gave correct answers. Questions were asked in line with each presentation.

The presents ranged from caps to T-shirts, donated by SASKO. Cash for correct answers was given by NACTO. SASKO also donated bread and cheese, lunch was provided by Lonemill Platinum Mine and Magalie’s Juice Produce helped with non-alcoholic drinks.

In summary, Mind-tour has been established and driven by youth. Their ability to mobilise, save and establish a meaningful partnership with key stakeholders, plus their ability to successfully organise such an event is an indication of the great potential of impact that they can have in the development of the youth in communities. As a way forward, it can be recommended that the Mind-tour youth federation be given support and opportunity of expanding to other regions using their experience.

In serving the best interests of children, we serve the best interests of all humanity. Let us not view children as property, but people with the ability to do great things. Everyone deserves the best start in life, and our support for them will certainly make a difference in the future of our communities.