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Strive to your dreams Workshop

STRIVE FOR YOUR DREAMS workshop (Lila Azorin)

In my 4th year for both my group and community work I decided to look towards the high rates of school dropout. In South Africa less than 40% of its youth complete Matric, with majority of the 60% being left without qualifications beyond Grade 9. These statistics are exaggerated in communities, such as the Cape Flats, where environmental deprivations and violence are common. An uneducated youth population has far reaching effects, not only on the individual, the families, and communities but also on society as a whole.

I ran a small group with six Grade 7 girls, teaching them skills in goal-setting while also discussing values, motivation, and self-confidence. The girls thoroughly enjoyed attending every week and based on their feedback and input, every session, I can guarantee that they understood and found the topics meaningful and useful.

My community project was based on the same notion, however it was aimed at the entire Grade 7 year. It was a one-day event to educate the Grade 7s on the value of education, to encourage them to continue with their education, and inspire and motivate them to reach for their dreams. After Sullivan’s motto I called it the STRIVE FOR YOUR DREAMS workshop.

I organised 4 phenomenal guest speakers who spoke about education, hard work, success, dreams, choices and consequences, and being created for a purpose; Nigel Savel from the 9 Mile surfing project; John Palm an ex-prisoner; Jerome Davies from the University of Stellenbosch Business School; and Chase Downes a UCT graduate. The turn out was exceptional; 2 thirds of the entire Grade 7 class attended and they enjoyed themselves from the moment they arrived at 08h30 until the moment they left at 15h30. The event was split up into two workshops; the 1st workshop consisted of discussing and creating artwork around their values and how perceptions are formed and the power they hold over us; the 2nd workshop was about goal setting and planning for the future and this was done in the form of a multi-media artistic future-map. The learners loved the chance to be creative with all the tools they were given and they thoroughly soaked up all the advice the guest speakers had to offer.

It has been said that educating individuals on such issues doesn’t guarantee future action, however in merely meeting with youth to discuss their dreams and aspirations has a motivational effect. I have no doubt that I was able to inspire those learners (both in my group and community work). However, it is often through these initiatives that we realise the ones that are most inspired are those facilitating. I would be grateful to have the opportunity to host more of these workshops to the new Grade 7s at Sullivan Primary and again I urge you to get involved in whichever way you can.