Celebrating our youth making a difference (Part 1)

Teach the children so that it will not be necessary to teach the adults. -- Abraham Lincoln.

We are celebrating our youth at Inyathelo this month, and what better way than to pay tribute to some of the past recipients of our Children and youth in Philanthropy award?

Celebrating our youth making a difference (Part 1)

This special group of young people come from vastly different backgrounds, age groups and areas of philanthropic interest. But they all have one thing in common -they noticed a need within our society and, instead of stepping back and waiting for someone older or more experienced to meet that need, they found a way to help themselves.

They believed that they needed to make a difference and their actions have had a massive impact on so many lives around them. Our youth have so much power to change their world and it is awe inspiring to witness what can be achieved through empathy and determination!

As you read more about the awardees, we hope that you will feel as inspired as we do by these awesome young individuals.

Lindela Mjenxane (2007 Inyathelo Award for Youth in Philanthropy)

“What matters most is your intent...What is your intent in life. What is your passion? My passion is to serve my community.” -- Lindela Mjenxane

Lindela started the Beyond Expectation Environmental Project (BEEP) to utilize natural environments, particularly Table Mountain, as a workshop “venue” for school learners. In this way, he helps them escape the trap of poverty, educates them about the environment and teaches them about using water wisely. Together with his team, he also runs workshops in 10 different schools across the Cape Metropole.

This project has won multiple awards since its inception (including M&G Greening the Future, 2007). Lindela won the Western Cape Premier’s Youth Award in 2006, and was awarded provincial community builder of the year (Western Cape) in both 2007 and 2016. Last year, BEEP was also one of five regional winners in the Region Five Jet community awards.

braamhanekomBraam Hanekom (2008 Inyathelo Award for Youth in Philanthropy)

Braam is the founder of PASSOP (People against Suffering, Suppression, Oppression and Poverty), a refugee activist advocacy organisation, dedicated to aiding and protecting the human rights of both documented and undocumented refugees in South Africa. PASSOP has worked with organisations such as UCT Law Clinic and the Legal Resource Centre to produce reports on the plight of immigrants in South Africa. Braam is so dedication to this cause that he sold his small business and used the proceeds to fund PASSOPs work.

In 2011 Braam was chosen by the Mail and Guardian as one of its 200 young South Africans.

refiloeseseaneRefiloe Seseane (2010 Inyathelo Award for Youth in Philanthropy)

“I am more interested in a life of significance, than a life of success.” -- Refiloe Seseane

Refiloe is the founder and director of 18twenty8, an award-winning, women-led Non-Profit Organisation which empowers young women from disadvantaged backgrounds by developing strategies for their educational and personal development. This allows them to view higher education as an attractive and necessary tool for their empowerment.

18twenty8 facilitate workshops at schools, provide mentors at a tertiary education level, and offer financial assistance for the higher educational needs of deserving young women.

kanchanamoodliarKanchana Moodliar (2011 Inyathelo Award for Youth in Philanthropy)

Kanchana initiated the’ Saris for Good Karma’ project which assisted women from low-income communities, with little education, to develop income-generating sewing skills. She created a sewing community of women in Chatsworth who re-cycled old saris, donated by the community, to make pillow cases, table clothes and other designer items.

In 2012 Kanchana was featured on the Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans List .

Jordan van der Walt (2012 Inyathelo Award for Children in Philanthropy)

After being moved by a documentary about the 3 million South African children that go to school hungry each day, 12-year-old Jordan started a campaign which he called ‘Just One Bag’. He asked school children to donate a bag of maize meal, in support of his philosophy that everyone can make a small difference in someone else’s life. In 2012 alone, he collected nearly 100 tonnes of maize meal which fed over a million children!