The National Youth Development Agency invited DDP to partner with in the above outlined workshop, which was done on the 21st of September 2021. It was done in partnership with the Dept of Education, Pongola Municipality Mayor’s Office, GCIS, Dept of Health and other stakeholders. This workshop was hosted for young people who will be voting for the first time in the upcoming Local Government Elections. It was done in Pongola, Mabophe Village at Landokwakhe High School, this was attended by over 100 young people who were actively engaging with the subject matter. The main objective of this engagement was to better equip young people with knowledge necessary for them to grow and become active citizens beyond the schooling system. It was to enhance their knowledge of the importance of participating in the electoral system as the first-time voter and how they can contribute to this countries democracy. The intended outcomes were to educate young people about what it means to be an active citizens and patriotism, enhance young people’s understanding of democracy and their role as a responsible citizen (volunteerism, the practice of participating in the election process etc) and activate young people’s sense of belonging in UPhongolo and surrounding areas and making young people aware of the power they possess to bring about change.
The workshop was attended and addressed by Cllr Mhlongo who is the current Mayor of Pongola Municipality, engaging the youth about the importance of being an active citizen, voter education and looking beyond the schooling system and he also used this opportunity to engage the few issues that were outlined by the youth in our previous dialogue and they have taken resolutions towards the issues raised in the dialogue (Pongola Youth Dialogue: 06 August 2021). Amongst the presenters there was Mrs Khumalo who is the employee of Itshelejuba hospital to inform and educate learners about the different types of vaccine available currently and their side effects. NYDA representative Ms Hauchin Makuyi spoke on the importance of living a healthy lifestyle and avoid early pregnancy and school dropouts because of partaking in wrong doings in the school premises. The GCIS Provincial Director Ms Ndala Mngadi addressed the youth about patriotism, social cohesion and adjusting to becoming a member of the community outside the schooling system. There was a young man who had benefited from Pongola Municipality’s support, where he received a Bursary to study Pharmacy, and he is currently employed at the hospital as a pharmacist encouraged his fellow peers to work hard with the little that they must achieve what he has achieved.