Youth citizens in action
18 October 2023
Four learners at Gansbaai Academia worked tirelessly to ensure that their school bathrooms were clean and hygienic, and their efforts paid off when they took first place in the senior category of the provincial Youth Citizens Action Programme (YCAP).
Indiphile Madletyane, Natasha Kabatamusha, Likho Poni, in Grade 11, and Grade 10 learner Ziyanda Gazi will represent the Western Cape at the National Championships from 20 to 22 October 2023 in Pretoria.
Caron Marais, a teacher at Gansbaai Academia, said in the process of giving the bathrooms at school a facelift, the learners demonstrated exceptional leadership skills, innovation, and a commitment to making a positive impact on their community. “The YCAP initiative is a global programme that encourages young people to take proactive and collaborative action toward addressing social and environmental challenges within their communities. The group of learners is thankful for this programme as it inspires and empowers young people to become agents of change who can make a real difference in the world. And that is exactly what the learners at Gansbaai Academia did.”
Diazville Primary School will represent the Western Cape in the junior category after their project to raise awareness about bullying and create a culture of caring got the nod from judges in the provincial elimination round.
Davine De Bruyn, Neriskia Watermeyer, Nyrine Maarman, Shenique Mccree, Fransisca Pienaar and Grace-Lee Oppel decided to do something about bullying. “We chose this topic because it has an impact on education as well as on the social environment. Bullying can lead to anxiety, low self-esteem, hopelessness and isolation,” the group said.
They tackled the issue by spreading awareness at school, in the community and on social media about the different forms of bullying, the consequences and long-term effects of bullying, resulting in a positive change in behaviour. “Learners became more aware of their actions, their feelings changed towards each other, and they become more positive.”
The school noted a decrease in problems with ill-discipline and less bullying complaints.
The learners said the biggest highlight of the competition thus far was making a difference in schools and the community.