Unleashing the Creative Power of Young Social Artists in Rural South Africa

Continuing our work in South Africa, this April PYE Lead Facilitators Nadia Chaney, Justin Silbaugh and Xola Yoyo (founder of Imithayelanga Youth Development) ran a training program for a group of young people who are in the process of becoming community leaders. Many of the participants have become heads of their households at a young age having lost parents to HIV AIDs and many have young siblings and even children of their own who are dependent on them.

Through his years of working with young people in this region, Xola Yoyo had identified this group of young people as having strong ambition and drive along with natural leadership abilities that would make them excellent candidates to help empower other young people in their communities. This training was the first professional training opportunity that these young people have been offered and it will empower them to begin to lead weekly support programs for young people who are desperately in need of mentorship and support, helping to improve their confidence and life skills as well as linking them to educational opportunities. The ongoing work of these young social artists will be supported by our partner organizations in the region, Imetalayanga and African Solutions for African Problems.

Xola Yoyo is a founder of Imithayelanga Youth Development and has been working with some of these young people for several years. He described meeting one young woman 3 years ago. She was shy, she kept her head down and she seemed to attempt to stay invisible from those around her. With the support of Imetalayanga and now with this training from PYE she has transformed.  “Her peers at school wonder what happened to her – and how they can be a part of it,” says Xola – and this is part of the reason why she, and all of the youth who were attending, have been chosen to begin empowering other young people.


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