Transforming Communities, Changing Lives 


Developing Youth Committees

Posted by Martin Keat

This month we continue to follow the development of Youth Communities that form the Safe Parks Peer Education programme. The Youth Committees are a link between young people and the process of decision making at Safe Parks. Our aim is to encourage the youth to think critically about issues in their communities.

Sne (Facilitator at our partner organisation Themba Interactive) and Leeds University student Daniela now host weekly film workshops as the first step of training potential Youth committee members to identify the issues that are prevalent in their communities.

With a total number of 23 potential Youth Committee members, the candidates were excited for the day’s activities. After interacting and sharing their community stories, the first workshop started with a physical warm up and carried on to discuss pressing issues in the communities that the young people live in. Sne and Daniela explored the issues that were brought up and introduced the participants to the Grassroots Comics methodology, so that they could tell their local stories. The participants formed three groups that engaged with different issues surrounding substance abuse, teenage pregnancy, and sexual abuse.  As the weeks progressed they began delving into deeper topics concerning human rights abuses and the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa.


It seems that these topics sparked some interesting debates amongst the young people as well as insightful states of mind. Daniela has been working with the potential Youth Committee members and had this to say about their progress so far “There have been some serious debates here, most notably the one about gender equality, which got a lot of female Youth Committee candidates quite fired up. It was really amazing to watch them engage with these issues with such intensity.”

With the help and guidance of Sne and Daniela, the groups completed their storyboards and established their characters. They later got on to role playing and showcased their efforts to one another before shooting their films.

After two days of shooting the participants came out with three films based on sexual abuse, discrimination and xenophobia. Following the editing process of the films, the Youth Committee candidates are going to participate in training sessions that will aid us in electing the Youth Committee members. This will also be a chance for us to get to know the candidates individually and find out what drives their interest in the Youth Committee.

We will be posting regular updates on the project as it progresses, and sharing the films produced!

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A big part of our work here at the Bishop Simeon trust is committed to assuring that children and young adults in South Africa are able to challenge and conquer those obstacles in their lives that prevent them from accessing education and assuring that they can  make the most of the potential they possess to thrive and build a positive future.