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Wednesday, 25 July 2012 02:00

ICC Crowns 2012 Young Community Shaper of the Year

Themba Maluleke Olievenhout was crowned the 2012 ICC Young Community Shaper (YCS) of the year on the 26th June 2012 for his outstanding contribution to the education of the youth in Midrand. The project, called THF Youth Development, helps around 80 children with education, life and sport skills.

Themba received R60 000 for his achievement, with the runner up Zandile Sekese receiving R30 000 and all of the remaining seven finalists receiving R10 000 each for their various community initiatives.

Themba's THF Youth Development project has been running for two years and uses the facilities of a primary and secondary school in Midrand to help him impart his knowledge on children seeking extra help and assistance in all spheres of their lives.

At the Midrand primary school, Themba teaches after school every day and helps the students with their homework as well as giving each one a nourishing meal to help with their concentration levels. Time is also spent developing their computer literacy skills, which is an important basic skill for all learners to acquire in today's technically advanced world. This takes place in their newly built computer room housing 10 computers that have been kindly sponsored. Sports training follows, where the children learn and practice different sports such as soccer, cricket and rugby thanks to Themba's valuable coaching skills. A quiet room has also been sponsored, where Themba and other volunteers are able to give special attention to those children needing extra help and skills development.

At the Midrand secondary school, Themba teaches leadership and other life skills to the pupils. Thanks to his selfless time spent with the students, the pass rate at the school has jumped from an astonishing 50% to 80% in the two short years he has been helping!

Zandile Sekese, ICC's YCS runner-up is the founder of the Olievenhoutbosch Disability Organisation that empowers people with disabilities and ensures their general well-being. The project provides day care for disabled children and Zandile has also started a workshop at the centre, teaching different types of handy work.

The ICC Young Community Shaper Programme has been created to identify and acknowledge the important roles young South Africans play in developing, building and empowering their local communities. Now in its twelfth year, the quest is to find a community leader every year that best portrays the spirit and culture of giving and Ubuntu, such as Themba and Zandile, and reward these young people who are actively involved in local community upliftment projects that bear no financial rewards.

There are two main categories to the competition, namely social upliftment (feeding schemes, sport and cultural projects etc.) and skills development and after a stringent selection process, nine regional finalists were selected for the Young Community Shapers project 2012. The national finals took place between the 24th – 27th June and the winners were announced at the prestigious gala dinner final on the 26th June 2012.

Themba was overwhelmed with the award and acknowledgement he received. "I love to help people and children, who have a special place in my heart. With the help of God, I will continue my project for many years to come. "

Gert Scheepers, CEO of the ICC Group and main sponsor of the YCS Project commented: "The youth are the future of this country and we strive to assist, nurture and grow the excellent, selfless work that is done in these communities, where many of our stores are located. By acknowledging these Young Community Shapers and ploughing funds into their local community projects, we are ultimately helping the entire community."

For more information, please visit www.iccgroup.co.za or contact Sanet Yelland via email on .

More information on the Finalists

Dorcas Maleho runs a project called the National Community Poverty Alleviation project that is based in Klerksdorp. This project is aimed at alleviating poverty and skills training. Dorcas provides food to approximately 180 people four times a week.

Jerry Hlongwane's project is called Beat the Odds and it has been running since 2008. Jerry teaches maths & science to students to help improve the drop-out & failure rate in Soshanguve.

Joyce Mokoena runs a project called New Wave Youth Development that is able to help the youth empower themselves through education. The project is based in Orange Farm and Joyce provides tutoring for learners from grade 8 to 12.

Mbalenhle Ngidi's project is called the Family of Christ Zion Organisation in Kwazulu Natal. This project feeds 60 pre-school children and teaches people specific skills in order to start and sustain a business and income for themselves and their families.

Palesa Mazibe runs a project called Neo E Bonolo Drop in Centre based in Benoni. Palesa provides an after school care service for 250 children that educates & enables them to learn new life skills and prepares them for their future.

Phumla Gxojeni runs the Up Up Up Youth Project that was started in 2004 in White River. Phumla helps people become more computer literate by teaching them how to use a computer and its programs. Phumla teaches 50 learners every day from 9am – 1pm and then from 1pm – 4pm.

Diau Eric Motholo is the founder of the Hollies Youth Mission project in the Qwa-Qwa that was started in 2009. The project offers homework support to 73 scholars every day from grade 2-11. The aim of the project is to ensure that children are passing every term at school and to build brighter futures for those in the community.

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