Creating a better Mzansi through sport and development
My main mission when I accompanied Doc to Steelpoort on Tuesday, was to assist, observe and learn how things work out there. What I saw really impressed me. I learnt that Youthzones is much more than building general friendship but long-lasting genuine and effective relationships. It must not be a job but a passion. Our main aim there was to establish a new site at Mashishing in Lydenburg. Prior to that, I was amazed to realise that youth leaders from surrounding sites including Saddam from Jane Furse, had traveled all the way to wait for us just to say 'Hi'!! Despite the heavy rains, we had time with them and what a joy it was! Afterwards, we met Boyka, the Head of SAFA in that region who acknowledged the great work Youthzones is doing and I quote his exact words; "Doc you are doing wonders in this place,you have changed this place, you are God sent you guys"!!! Such a complement made me realise how far Youthzones have gone.
The following day Forster Maluka, the CSR Manager for Glencore Steelpoort accompanied us to Mashishing to lay the groundwork for the establishment of our Youthzones site. His close relationship with Doc is priceless. After having a successful meeting together with the General Manager Conroy van Westhuizen, he (Forster) took us around the place and showed us facilities that were built for the community by his company from creches, community centres and others. There he introduced us and informed the people of the work we shall be doing. We met a prospective youth leader called Gideon, who we saw hanging around the stadium. He is now working towards bringing teams together so that we begin work. Upon returning to Steelpoort, we had a great time at Forster's office where we also met the Marathon team for Glencore. Later in the evening, we had time to play soccer with one of the teams in Steelpoort and was also impressed with the huge talent there. With proper guidance and grooming through Youthzones, those kids will go far.
This experience was an eye-opener for me. I learnt that Youthzones is all about building lasting relationships with everyone regardless of their position, from corporates to the lowest youths in the modest communities.