Mr Marvin Hlope addresses students at the Step-Up
Youth Camp at the Koinonia Conference Centre.

About 100 youngsters from Durban schools attended a three-day Step-Up Youth Camp organised by UKZN students and alumni at the Koinonia Conference Centre.

The initiative formed part of I Change Foundation, a student organisation on the Westville and Howard College campuses.

Fun-filled unconventional life-skills techniques geared at inspiring young minds were part of the 10-One-Hour Sessions which closed with a challenge for the young folk to start projects in their respective schools and neighbourhoods.

I Change Foundation, in partnership with the Central UKZN SRC, has reached more than 500 learners throughout KwaZulu-Natal via the Step-Up Youth Project. This effective and sustainable programme is the handiwork of UKZN students and continues to impact the students and learners who are part of it.

Students mentored and facilitated the programme, giving back to communities. ‘These students are motivated, creative youth with a passion for moral regeneration,’ said Mr Marvin Hlophe, President of ICF and a UKZN alumnus.

Hlope said the project was a proactive approach in response to the dwindling pass rate, increased teenage pregnancies and apathetic learners in South African classrooms.

The success of the programme is evidenced by changes in learners who attend the camp and the different community/school development projects the learners initiate after attending the camp.

At Dabeka High School, pupils started a herb garden, at Phembisizwe High School they repaired their run-down library, and at Mqhawe High School they spoke on UKhozi FM about the changes they saw within themselves.

‘The large number of testimonials we receive from learners throughout KZN is highly impressive. Right now, all across the province, learners are organising themselves and planning ways to impact positively in their communities,’ said Hlophe.

* For more information on the Foundation or if you are a learner who would like to attend a future camp, email or visit our Facebook page