South Africa’s Department of Basic Education (DBE), in partnership with MIET AFRICA, UNICEF South Africa and the National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT), recently launched two youth empowerment initiatives in Pretoria. These two programmes—the Southern African Development Community (SADC) FutureLife-Now! Programme and the Ubuntu Youth Leaders Movement—contribute to the Department’s Care and Support for Teaching and Learning (CSTL) Framework and the SADC Child and Youth Agency Framework (CYAF).
Following a successful first phase (2019–23) implemented in Lesotho, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, South Africa now joins the second phase of FutureLife-Now! (2023–26), which sees a scale-up of FutureLife-Now! to additional Member States in the SADC Region. For South Africa, FutureLife-Now! contributes to building the human capital of the country’s approximately 22 million young people by empowering them to be responsible, actively engaged citizens who lead responses to 21st century development challenges, specifically those related to health, gender inequality and climate change.
Initially, the DBE will pilot a contextualised FutureLife-Now! package of support in 10 secondary schools, commencing in June this year. Following the pilot, the Department will roll out the tested package across the country.
Contributing to the goal of FutureLife-Now!, the Ubuntu Youth Leaders Programme aims to create a movement of one million Ubuntu youth leaders across the country who can serve as “change agents” and role models, contributing to a culture of care, respect and peace in their schools and communities.
The adoption of the SADC CYAF as an addendum to the CSTL Policy Framework by the region’s education ministers in June 2022 has highlighted youth agency and leadership as important cross-cutting issues for the success of FutureLife-Now!. The Ubuntu Youth Leaders’ Programme will strengthen the FutureLife-Now! Phase 2 efforts to address health, gender and climate change challenges among the youth in the SADC Region.
For more information about the FutureLife-Now! Programme and the Ubuntu Youth Leaders Movement, contact email@example.com or visit https://mietafrica.org/projects-programmes/youth-development/futurelife-now-programme/