The role of education, at its foundation, is to open oneself to the possibilities of the world. It serves as the building blocks used to provide the theory and evidence that shapes our society, the information which broadens or restricts our minds and challenges our perspectives. Furthermore, it creates the opportunity for even more discovery to take place.
However, it is my firm belief that in order to cultivate leadership in our community, education needs to extend beyond the realms of our structured school systems. My vision for cultivating leadership is to establish programmes that seek to extend the natural intellect of the youth by adopting a holistic approach to sharing knowledge and experiences.
This includes enriching young people through multi-ethnic and culturally diverse activities. This entails connecting young people to the lived experiences of each other.
By cultivating spaces where the youth are encouraged to engage and learn from one another, a sense of trust, comradery, and understanding can be developed. With understanding follows the ability to think critically about the realities of others and in turn allows authentic communication to take place.
When we are able to connect with the humanity within others, we are able to connect with the humanity within ourselves. In turn, when we occupy positions of leadership, we have ingrained in our thinking and actions, the ability to consider the community as a collective through the lens of compassion and empathy.
Nelvia Rawheath works for Activate Change Drivers, whose objective is to equip young people of South Africa to be innovative active citizens and influence and provoke positive change for the global good. She is also an Amnesty International Durban Group Volunteer and a trained youth development facilitator
**This article was contributed by a guest blogger. This blog entry does not necessarily represent the position or opinion of Amnesty International South Africa.