Sithaba Komeni, Minister of Social Development : “ When everything goes wrong, going to the Africa Unite School Club program makes me feel better” – School club is my community.
On February 28, the Africa Unite School Club team visited Salt River High School to assist the learners in the calendar building for the year. After an intense election campaign, the hardest part is coming for the learners. In order to prepare for the annual leadership camp, the school club members have to create a portfolio, filled with ideas and projects that they intend to implement within the school. This calendar will be used as a guide for the learners to know the projects of each department.
The Calendar Building : a new challenge for the learners of Salt River Secondary School
In order to achieve their calendar, the learners were divided into portfolio committees. They had to reflect on the distinct challenges and issues that arise within the school, according to their department.
A total of 7 groups were formed, including a minister, his or her deputies and parliamentarians who joined a group based on their interest.
One of them was led by the president Likho Jaxa, working hand in hand with two of the parliamentarians.
The learners were asked to think of events, activities or workshops they would like to implement to face all these challenges. Our role during this process was to guide, advise and assist them in creating the portfolios, while allowing them some degree of autonomy. In the School Club program, we value the spirit of initiative and entrepreneurship. We aim to encourage learner’s enthusiasm and optimism about the future of their schools and communities, in order to create critical thinkers who view their environment from a social activist perspective.
A time of political collaboration : President, Ministers, deputies and Parliamentarians working hand-in-hand
During this day, we assisted in a real moment of political cooperation, between the members of the cabinet, their deputies and the parliamentarians. One of the main difficulties highlighted within the school club program was the lack of inclusion of parliamentarians. However, this session showed that all learners were able to work together, regardless of their position on the political landscape. Although the minister headed the portfolio committees, they made sure to include deputies and parliamentarians in the reflection process, asking them for their opinions before making any decision. The involvement was thus collective; the sharing and exchange of ideas allowed each committee to finalize their portfolio.
Thus, on March 1, 2023, the ministers of each position presented their portfolio in the presence of the whole school club, with all the ideas they found to respond to the challenges that arise in the school. We noticed that the learners had many common ideas about projects to implement, especially about cultural and sports events. They seem to be aware of the issues that are prevalent in the school such as violence, drugs, racism or harassment, which they highlight in their speech. However, these concerns require time and a lot of work for our learners to be resolved.
– Mariama Camara