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Monday, 05 September 2016 07:52

The 2016 Young Community Shapers crowned

The Young Community Shapers Gala Event took place on the 23 August 2016. The initiative is now in its 16th year of identifying remarkable individuals around the country. This year the winner was Bulelani Nameka who won R60 000.00 for his project Isikhokelo Homework and reading project. The second runner up, Lucy Khozi Skoshana, won her project, Ikghono Lelutjha Project, R30 000.00.

The prestigious "Hall of Fame" themed event took place at The Venue in Melrose Arch, where the nine finalists had the opportunity to showcase their wonderful community projects. The finalists were handpicked individuals selected for running uplifting projects which are bettering lives and giving hope to members of their communities. These incredible individuals are changing lives and doing their part in creating a brighter future.

The guest speaker at the this year's Gala Event, Stella Mondlane's - one of the 2015 joint winners, gave an inspirational speech on the impact that the Young Community Shapers initiative has made in her life. She gave the 2016 finalist insight into what lies ahead for them as well as advice based off of her own experience. Stella's community project, SI Youth Initiative project, continues to grow and go from strength to strength.

This year's winner, Bulelani Nameka, along with the assistance of volunteers, helps 50 children between the ages of 9-13 who struggle with reading, writing, spelling and Math's. His project has led to a drastic improvement in these children's marks at schools. Through his project he was also able to build a library for a primary school from which he encourages reading among the youth and runs book clubs. Bulelani understands the importance of technology and the role it plays in the children's futures. He has therefore acquired 12 computers which he uses to teach computer literacy. Bulelani also assists his community where he can and has led to him establishing a Grade 6 mentorship program as well as supplying less fortunate scholars with stationery and uniforms. His ultimate goal is to build better futures for these children as they are the future of the country.

Lucy Khozi Shashana, the second runner up, runs a program that assists children of parents who work far from home and need to leave the children with distant family members. The projects helps to make sure these children attend school and also assists these children with homework. At the center Lucy along with volunteers look after 50 children between the ages of 4 -17. The center encourages the kids to take part in physical activity including soccer, netball and dancing as well as creative activities such as painting and drawing. Children are further taught the importance of growing their own vegetables and looking after the environment through the vegetable garden which is also used towards feeding the kids.

The remaining seven finalists were also commended for their great projects and each received R10 000 for their projects. They were Bafana Sonnyboy Binda, Lebohang Nyandeni, Molebogeng Vainah Mogale, Reabetswe Molapo, Reachel Mapaseka Khiba, Serame Andrew Molorane and Thabo Skotoyi.

The Young Community Shaper Initiative is made possible through the sponsorship of the ICC Buying Group and the member companies, namely Bibi Cash & Carry, Big Save, Savemoor, PriceRite, and Raimondi's Trading Company as well as the involvement of the major sponsors SABC education, Shift, Unilever, Rainbow, Premier Foods, Nestlé, Tiger Brands, Entyce Beverages, Snackworks, Little Green Beverages and Colgate.

Gert Scheepers, CEO of ICC Buying Group was once again impressed with the calibre of work that the youth is doing within their communities, commenting on how wonderful it is to see young South African's actively getting involved, to try and make their country a better place. He says, "It takes great heart and effort to change a tarnished environment for the better- especially if you're young and financially disadvantaged."

He believes that it is vital for all big organizations such as the ICC Buying Group to get involved and assist youth of the country, through development and education, as they are ultimately the future.

For more information on the initiative please visit The Young Community Shapers Facebook page.

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