The Spirit of Teens 2017

Why I love what I Do!

It seems that in our time there is a lot of focus placed on achievement, success, wealth and with this comes a high level of anxiety and not-coping in the teenagers of today. Their fear of failure and disappointment is literally tangible, taking them as far as having suicidal thoughts and even suicidal actions! This past week, alongside the inspirational Thea Khama and other voluntary mentors, I have been facilitating the annual Teen Spirit Camp in Gaborone. Teen Spirit – Uncover the Genius Within, is primarily a youth mentorship program using self discovery and a peer mentorship model created by Thea in 2010. The program is about training young people and equipping them with copying mechanisms and skills, empowering them to transform their own future. The Teen Spirit Camp is followed by a year-long mentorship program, in which the teens but also their mentors experience positive change in their lives through facilitation, guidance and the implementation of new ways into their daily life.

It was a very emotional straining and at the same time uplifting experience! To be a part of and help another person through heaps and bounds of emotional development and growth, is a life-changing experience for every mentor or facilitator, no matter how experienced they are and for how long they have been doing this. Thea, you are changing the world one person at a time, and it has been a privilege to work so closely with you. Your work is changing the lives of young, often troubled teenagers and without a doubt is not going unnoticed. One of my hero’s in this world, the most extraordinary Nelson Mandela, shared his eloquent wisdom in two quotes below, which seem very fitting for this post.  

Our children are the rock on which our future will be built, our greatest asset as a nation.They will be the leaders of our country, the creators of our national wealth who care for and protect our people. (3 June 1995)

One of the ways in which we can build a better future for our children is by empowering them through allowing them to speak up for themselves. Of course, we as adults have to guide them and to take the ultimate responsibility but that is something quite different from patronizing them. The rights of children must, importantly, include the right to be themselves and to talk for themselves. (November 2003)


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