The film workshops that we ran during the first 6 weeks identified a wide range of issues that the youths face in their communities. During this process they also formed Youth Committees, with two Youth Leaders per Safe Park. The election of the Youth Leaders was done through a voting system, whereby one boy and one girl had to be elected and individuals could not vote for themselves. These Youth Committees, headed by their leaders, will now become the voice of their own generation within their Community-Based-Organisation. Together they can identify the needs of their peers within their organisations and advocate for things that would better suit their needs. However, the aim is not to limit the potential impact of these youths to their organisations, but to encourage their engagement with their wider communities. Therefore we took the Youth Leaders from each Safe Park to the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre, so we could discuss with them the wider issues of the Holocaust, the Rwandan Genocide and Xenophobia. This proved to be powerful as whilst most of the youths had learnt about the Holocaust, they had never heard about the Rwandan genocide and their knowledge of xenophobia in South Africa was not in-depth. The leaders also found that within these events, there were deeper lessons to be learnt, most particularly of the dangers of discrimination and stereotyping, and also the importance of not being a bystander as there is power in standing up and advocating for what is right. It is our task now to take these lessons back to the safe parks so that the youths can use them in their community engagement. The following videos introduce some of the leaders, and their insights into the workshop they attended at the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre.
Fezeka, a Youth Leader from the Leth'ithemba safe park in Vorsloorus shares with us her thoughts on the week at the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre. She also delivers a very powerful and personal poem as she reflects on how the week was not just about learning about the Holocaust and Genocide, but also helped her come to term with events in her own life.
One of the activities that the youth leaders undertook during the workshop at the JHGC, was entitled '21 Icons'. During the activity, the leaders were shown interviews of 21 modern day South African icons. After this, a discussion took place that centred on what makes a role model, and who the role models of our youths are. Our youths then selected one of the 21 Icons and explained why this person would be a role model to them.