Youth Citizens Action Programme – Powered by Empowervate

My experience of YCAP and beyond – by Basetsana Sheane

Basetsana Sheane from the Free State province says…

My journey with the Youth Citizens Action Programme – Empowervate started back in 2017.

I was just a young girl, fresh from primary school, super excited about finally making it to high school. Getting to be a part of this amazing programme was a big deal for me.

Fast forward to 2023, I feel honoured to be an official part of the YCAP Support Team after supporting, advising and mentoring Taiwe Secondary School YCAP teams from 2021 informally, in my personal capacity.

I remeber how I used to envy being the likes of Roger and Kamohelo Kode who were the YCAP Support team in our days. I would often say to myself “One day, I’ll also be Kamohelo Kode or Roger and work with YCAP teams from different schools”😅. They fulfilled their roles so perfectly and always gave us, the participants, all the help that we needed. I envied that!

Being an active YCAP member from 2017-2019 has taught me to be resilient and how to be a critical thinker.

When we started with our first YCAP project on “Late Coming” at School in 2017 when I was in grade 8, we faced a myriad of challenges such as learners and some teachers who were resistant to change. It was very hard to introduce them to a new way of doing things, instilling discipline in them and teaching them that there will be a consequence should any one of then arrive late for school. However, since “teamwork makes the dream work” we managed to hold hands and come up with creative ideas & solutions as a team to tackle the issue of learners arriving late at school.

These solutions included learners going to detention after school for arriving late, assisting the school’s cleaning stuff to clean the toilets and picking up garbage found within the school premises. This then led to a drop in the number of learners who arrived late at school after the first period had started.

As we had no idea how we were supposed to prepare a perfect portfolio of evidence for the competition part of YCAP, we were fortunate enough to have YCAP Support Team members who addressed all of our concerns & questions without making us feel like we were asking obvious or irrelevant questions. This then motivated us to work harder as a team and to carry on participating in YCAP for consecutive years because we had all the support that we needed.

I would like to thank the CEO of Empowervate, Amanda Blankfield-Koseff for this opportunity for growth and personal development, for also ensuring that YCAP doesn’t only end at a school level for the alumni🙏🏽.

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