Ikewana’s interest in the future of South Africa paired well with One Young World, a global forum for young leaders working to accelerate change in every country. OYW has been actively supported by a distinguished line-up of counsellors including the late Kofi Annan, President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, to name a few.
Ikewana selected a candidate in South Africa whose focus is to uplift the community where he/she is active and ensures that the project that he/she is focused on, is successfully carried out. From the candidates we could choose from, there were individuals motivating youth in disadvantaged areas, others providing psychosocial support and youth empowerment, still others focusing on urban hunger and food security solutions through agricultural innovation, to name but a few.
A yearly OYW summit takes place on the global stage to gather together the brightest young leaders from around the world, and to empower them to make lasting connections to create positive change. In fact, since 2009, One Young World has built an alumni network of over 10,000 Ambassadors whose projects have gone on to benefit more than 17.5 million people worldwide with a Social Return on Investment of 13:1 USD.
Ikewana’s interest in Valued Citizens Initiative grew when we saw the critical connection made between school leaders, teachers, social workers, parents, and learners; and the positive impact they had on communities.
Considering the statistics, 33% of South Africa’s youth suffer from a traumatic experience and as a result, struggle to cope in schools. On top of that, 32% of learners within the programme live with a single parent and 30% live with a guardian from the extended family or in foster care and many suffer from anxiety. Needless to say, self-esteem is low and trust very limited. It is a goal of the organisation to journey with these children and to break the cycle of vulnerability.
In the 17 years that it has been around, Valued Citizens Initiative developed a leadership platform which has enabled 1277 600 learners with a will power to gain core soft skills – self-discovery, leadership, communication and emotional intelligence. Their programmes enable learners to have a voice as responsible citizens on current affairs, be resilient, commit to their career goals and ultimately see themselves as Valued Citizens.
South Africa’s Zululand Rhino Orphanage created a facility for displaced orphaned rhinos, a tragic necessity based on current poaching statistics. Little rhino calves frequently become orphaned and are often found close to the rhino cow’s body, in instances where she would have been brutally murdered for her horns. The orphanage offers them a place of rehabilitation, where they are fed and taken care of until such a time that they can be released back into the wild where they belong.
Ikewana has adopted an orphan called “……” and funds go towards raising him and helping him overcome the trauma he endured. Funds are also raised to provide security at the orphanage to prevent attacks from poachers.
Ikewana also sponsors a team which participates in the annual Rhino Ride which takes place between the 23rd and 25th of July. This challenging and thrilling ride, takes place in the Manyoni Private Game Reserve which is home to over 70 mammal species including Africa’s Big 5. All proceeds go directly into the Zululand Conservation trust. Rhino poaching has become such a problem in South Africa that increasing number of privately owned game reserves are disposing of their Rhino, as they are considered too much of a risk in relation to the rising security costs of protecting these animals. MPGR is fortunate enough to be able to protect their rhinos and are dedicated to expanding this, their range and their population.
Ikewana supports Singita’s Growing to Read initiative (together with Read Educational Trust) who in turn support children to fully develop in physical, cognitive, psychological and social domains. Their programmes are active and thriving in 20 carefully selected schools in the Sabi Sand and Kruger National Park region.
The focus is on the foundation years of children beginning at birth. The programme is there to assist preschool children with life- and language-skills, in order that they are able to start primary school successfully.
Their approach is holistic and integrated and even involves babies being cleaned and fed. Although implementation is a problem, a phased approach is taken and once a school has “graduated” to a specific level, the organisation is able to move their focus on to a new school.