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Monday, 11 August 2014 02:00

Kefilwe Bopape voted ICC’s next Young Community Shaper

Kefilwe Bopape was crowned as the next Young Community Shaper (YCS) for 2014 and received a R60 000 cheque at the Gala Dinner held at Monte Casino on the 29th July 2014. The annual awards, sponsored by The Independent Cash & Carry Group (ICC) and SABC’s Shift programme,seeks to identify, acknowledge and celebrate students that are actively involved in developing, building and empowering their communities.

This year’s awards were run in honour of Nelson Mandela whose spirit epitomises the essence of the Young Community Shaper Awards. His wise words: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world" were clearly echoed in each of the nine YCS finalist’s projects. These individuals realised they can make a difference in their communities and selflessly seek to transfer their skills and educate the youth through various projects, for no financial gain.

The winner Bopape, aged 23, is based in Hammanskraal in Gauteng and runs her Life After Matric Project. She saw her community faced with unemployment, teenage pregnancy and crime as a result of dropping out of school and felt the need to do her part in helping to educate the youth.

Her project is focused on assisting the youth with training and specifically helps them identify their talents and possible career paths. Most importantly, Bopape guides her learners on various tertiary education options and through the project, they are able to attend open days and apply for bursaries to their identified institutions.

“So far my project has helped over 20 students secure bursaries and move onto studying careers at universities and higher educational institutions. I know we are a long way from where we want to be, but we are determined and will continue to make a difference, one learner at a time.”

The awards, now in their fourteenth year, have over the years given youth such as Bopape an opportunity to highlight their projects to all the sponsors involved in YCS. These individuals, who are selflessly running these initiatives are then able to gain valuable support needed to grow into sustainable community projects that will benefit more and more people.

Gert Scheepers, CEO of the ICC Group congratulated the finalists and commented: “I am in awe of these youth and the magnitude of what they do for no financial reward. Every year we find candidates from the rural areas that qualify for YCS and our wish is for more and more youth to harness the power of their dreams and help make a better South Africa. I also want to thank our Member companies and loyal suppliers who contribute to this worthy cause”

“I am overwhelmed with excitement at winning this award.” Bopape commented. “My next step is to go back to my team so we can put a plan and budget together to assist next year’s grade 12 learners. We can help them choose their preferred career paths and guide them to the best educational institutions to help them elevate their lives and reach their full potential.”

The YCS runner up was Gauteng based Motsamai Thaba who received a cheque for R30 000 for his Spread the Love Project. The remaining five finalists received a cheque for R10 000 to plough back into their projects, ensuring they can grow and make a difference in the lives they touch.

The sponsors were so impressed with the calibre of finalists that they decided to add another ten thousand rand to each of the finalists winnings. The ICC Group and member companies responsible for making YCS possible are Bibi Cash & Carry, Numain Distributors, Big Save, Savemore, Pricechain, Overland Cash & Carry and Raimondi’s Trading Company. Major other
sponsors that are involved include SABC, Unilever, Rainbow, Premier Foods, Nestlé, Tiger Brands, Entyce Beverages, Snackworks and Colgate.

To find out more information on YCS, please contact Sanet Yelland from Streamline Advertising on or (011) 367 6800. For more information on the winner, please visit http://youtu.be/fMVV781TO9A.

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