Volmoed Youth Leadership Training Program (VYLTP)

by The Volmoed Trust (for Healing And Reconciliation In South Africa)
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Volmoed Youth Leadership Training Program (VYLTP)
Volmoed Youth Leadership Training Program (VYLTP)
Volmoed Youth Leadership Training Program (VYLTP)
Volmoed Youth Leadership Training Program (VYLTP)
Volmoed Youth Leadership Training Program (VYLTP)

REPORT: Volmoed Youth Leadership Training Program (VYLTP)

May 2021  

As 2021 continues, Covid-19 continues to interrupt our usual way of operating in VYLTP.  In South Africa we are sadly moving towards a third wave of the Covid-19 virus and we continue in lockdown level 3. Plans for our usual in-person training are still on hold, at least until the end of 2021, and possibly early 2022, depending how the rollout of the vaccine proceeds.

We are very grateful that on March 27, we were able to safely host a second one day event for young adults and leaders at Volmoed retreat center. This focused on ‘Love in a Time of Suffering’, along with community building, Taizé music, and discussion groups, workshops, time in nature. The attendance increased to forty young people from the Overstrand and the Western Cape. Workshops centered on Climate Change, Gender Based Violence, Reconciliation & Justice, and Social Media Training.  

We are very proud to have completed our first ever online module for youth leadership training, ‘Building the Beloved Community’, focused on the thinking of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, and other leaders. This was an eight week course, with weekly 90 minute sessions, begun in late February, ending in mid April, and energetically facilitated by Seth Naicker. It aimed to give young people personal and professional development as emerging leaders. 

Fifty young people signed up for the course, and in the end, fourteen actually attended all blob:file:///85615ea3-0694-4b23-8dc4-ea9c9d1c4c3e sessions and completed all the weekly assignments. Connectivity and bandwidth was a challenging issue for quite a few, who were not able to complete the course.  Participants explored leadership frameworks and approaches to social justice, and explored their own identities, values, and principles,  as young leaders in the complex context of South Africa. They were exposed to the thinking of international leaders past and present, and were asked to read and write assignments that showed their understanding of the  content each week. They were challenged with thinking that is new to them, for instance feminist liberation theory, and helped to understand  the complex terrain of diversity, justice and inclusion in our everyday world, that is both personal and communal. We were also able to support two admin interns for the course with an honorarium to help with the weekly admin tasks. 

We are hoping to acquire a small container office on site at Volmoed. This will be an exciting move. On June 16, VYLTP will celebrate our fifth anniversary! We plan to hold a third Youth Leadership Day at Volmoed, Covid-19 circumstances permitting. 

A huge thank you to all our donors for your support. Please do check out our website for more news: https://volmoedyouth.org.za 

THANK YOU TO ALL OUR GENEROUS DONORS!

 

 


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Jan 2021 REPORT: Volmoed Youth Leadership Training Program (VYLTP)

As we begin 2021, Covid-19 continues to interrupt our usual plans. In South Africa, we are experiencing a second wave of the virus with a virulent new variant. This led to a new level of lockdown imposed before the festive season. Plans for in-person training as we had hoped, are now on hold until the end of 2021, depending how the rollout of the vaccine proceeds.

Due to Covid-19, VYLTP has changed the way we operate. We were able to hold a second Zoom meeting on September 20, with the alumni of the program. We were able to continue the conversation from the first Zoom meeting, and fine-tuned some ideas for online training instead of in-person training.

Before the second wave of Covid-19, on November 27, we were able to safely host a one day event on Taize and community building for twenty-five young people from the Western Cape. It

included workshops on Climate Change, Gender-Based Violence, and Reconciliation & Justice. Another day event set for December 28, sadly had to be canceled due to Covid-19.

Meanwhile, plans are now in place for our first ever online module, ‘Building the Beloved Community’, which is usually the first module of the in person training. This will be a weekly, 90-minutes session for eight weeks beginning in February, and facilitated by Seth Naicker. It aims to give young people personal and professional

development as emerging leaders. They will explore leadership frameworks and approaches to social justice. This will give them

understanding of the complex terrain of the personal and communal dimensions of diversity, justice and inclusion in our everyday world. We are busy recruiting and registering participants.

A huge thank you to all our donors for your support. Check out our website for more news:

https://volmoedyouth.org.za

THANK YOU TO ALL OUR GENEROUS DONORS!


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Starting in 2016, VYLTP has held four annual youth leadership training programs. We had high hopes for the fifth cohort of young people in 2020, but Covid-19 put a stop to all our usual plans. South Africa has been on lockdown since March 27, 2020, and is not yet back to the point of safely gathering as groups and conferences.

Our decision was to move the program online, and to do so effectively, we have been meeting informally and formally with alumnae of the program to get their feedback about the long term effectiveness of the program and their ideas for online training. We held a zoom meeting with thirty-five  alumnae on May 24 to both mourn and celebrate VYLTP amidst the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, and here are the photos and stories: 

We mourned because we had to cancel the 2020 cohort of VYLTP. And we celebrated as we could see the faces and hear the voices of alumni from Swaziland, Kenya, Palestine, the USA, Canada and also South Africa. This was the first time that the young leaders from the first four cohorts met. We were determined “not to waste a good crisis”, as one of them said.

When this program started in 2016, it was deemed more than simply important or urgent: it was deemed to be critical that this process of raising new ecumenical leaders be started and continued in faith, hope and love despite the prevailing ecumenical atmosphere in South Africa . The “guinea-pigs” of 2016 sometimes wondered what the outcome of each week was meant to be or lead to. But even when it was explained, the challenge of living in a unique short-term transitional community proved to be difficult for most delegates as it challenged them to learn to listen, resolve conflict and forgive. Despite the challenges, it was important that we do it in order to learn from one another and what it could mean to build a wholesome community.        

Listening to the life-journey of every alumnus on the call meant that every voice could be heard and acknowledged. One young nurse told us about her experience as a nurse during this time. The young Christian leader from Palestine talked about the hopelessness she experiences in Palestine as their land is soon going to be annexed. The delegate from Swaziland spoke about how he is now going back to school to further his studies, while the delegate from Kuruman spoke about how she missed working with the young people in her congregation.  Those working full-time in congregations spoke about the challenges that they face there. The energy and the excitement to be on the call was clearly evident in the voices and input of all.                   

Building a connection between the alumni was only a start. We now hope to build strong bridges, strengthening co-operation amongst alumni, and allowing them to help shape VYLTP over the next few years in line with its vision and mission.                                                                       

At the end of the call it was all summed up: we are planting seeds and we are in the business of transformation. The challenge now is to nurture the seedlings and plant new ones. Who knows what they will grow into? I know that they will give us occasion to celebrate rather than mourn.     

VYLTP has also supported the Volmoed Staff Salaries project by donating to the fund to top up staff salaries which have been at 60% since lockdown began in March. We plan to create a databank to support future VYLTP participants who cannot afford data to use in the VYLTP online training, which begins in January 2021.

VYLTP is also in the process of formalizing infrastructure, writing a constitution, and the leadership team meets monthly with smaller sub committees meeting more often. We are excited about developing a hybrid program of online and hopefully in person training in 2021. A huge thank you to all our donors for your support. Check out our website for more news and writings by VYLTP faculty:  https://volmoedyouth.org.za

 

 

                                                        


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Organization Information

The Volmoed Trust (for Healing And Reconciliation In South Africa)

Location: Hermanus - South Africa
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @VolmoedYouth
Project Leader:
Wilma Jakobsen
Hermanus, South Africa
$110 raised of $25,000 goal
 
3 donations
$24,890 to go
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