Saturday, January 10, 2015


Change in Progress Camp 2014, South Africa

Participants of Change in Progress camp 2014 Change in Progress (CiP), is a leadership and self-awareness programme, with the aim of grooming youth to have changed hearts and minds that will embrace a future based on responsible choices, sustainability and Ubuntu. The CiP camp took place from the 30 November - 11 December, 2014 at Rocky Valley Christian camp site, Krugersdorp, South Africa.

Ten participants came from Krugersdorp and three participants from Bloemfontein plus three mentors from last year's camp. The camp took nine days - five days of intensive training and four days of outreach in the community of Kagiso. The aim of the outreach programme was to put into practice some of the skills acquired at the camp. 

The main topics of discussion were: 

Who am I? - opening a safe space to explore the values, behaviours and choices made.

Art of leadership – exploring the role of leaders as influential people with character and discipline to serve others.

Reflection up the camp site hill My family and history – through SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats), discovered patterns that make each person unique, sharing skills of conflict resolution, forgiveness and effective communication.

Entrepreneurship - the learning space to understand the difference between answering a need or greed, including steps to explore how to become an entrepreneur. 

A session on 'Reflections, mentoring, recreational activities and the way forward' helped people come out of their comfort zones, gain confidence, accept where they are with life, find compassion for one another, define their new identity, become out-spoken and creative, develop team building skills and vision for their future. The outreach days took place in the Kagiso community, which meant that the participants were dealing with reality, practising life skills of reflection and planning what they would like to put across to their community. Visits were made to elderly people at an NGO called Kgoro, and to youth at the West Rand Youth Development Centre. During both the 'Beyond Forgiving' film was shown and the camp participants used their experiences and lessons learnt from the camp. The question, “what is it that’s still holding us back today? “ was put to the audience which led to lively discussions. 

Mentors of the camp 2014 Clifford Sihlezana, one of the participants shared, ‘What stands out for me is that everybody has a story no matter what their personality may seem like. Secondly, how to effectively solve problems and conflicts by listening and always looking for the underlying issues in an argument. I learned that in entrepreneurship it is all about finding the needs of the community, and that 'my I CAN is more important than my IQ’. 

Karabo Radebe one of the mentors had this to say, ‘I was so excited to be a mentor for the first time in my life, but at the camp the reality of my role clicked and I found myself asking whether I live the change I am preaching. As I engaged with participants and took part in the activities and sessions I found that I too have changed. A highlight for me was when I lead everyone up the hill, as our tour guide wasn’t available. It dawned on me that being a mentor is like a train driver - people place their trust in you and you have to ensure which rail to take because if it’s a wrong one, they can be injured and hurt. The teamwork, confidence and encouragement, made the reflective journey up the hill a success’. 

Group sessions The outcomes of the 2014 CiP camp include partnerships with the South African Police Social Crime Prevention Department and Westside Radio (West Rand community radio) as well as continuing the work with the older generation and the West Rand Youth development centre. Another outcome is that the three participants from Botshabelo, Bloemfontein were inspired to host a camp in December 2015. Cleo Mohlaodi, the main coordinator says, ‘It was a learning curve to host two communities at the camp from different provinces, work with previous participants as mentors and base our outreach programme on the 'Beyond Forgiving' film. It was fulfilling to see the inner joy and passion as I conversed, danced and shared my time, knowledge and skills with the youth as they came alive’. 

The main facilitators for the Change in Progress camp 2014 were Portia Mosia and Cleopadia Mohlaodi. 

We wish to thank the following fund and people who made the Change in Progress camp 2014 become a success; Irene Prestwitch Fund (IPT), Initiatives of Change South Africa, Miss Maria Ratsoma and Mrs Julia Tshaka. 

If you would like to get in touch with the organiser of the program, kindly email here

By Cleo Mohlaodi