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Change the world


If Youth Month is “a significant time for us to reflect on the challenges and triumphs of South African youth”, then what better time to share and celebrate the stories of some of the youth in and around Nelson Mandela University.

Working in the Engagement Office and, in particular, with the Mandela University Food Systems in the Hubs of Convergence, I’ve been able to work with just some of the more than 30 000 students that make up Mandela Uni.

This ranges from second-year graphic design students creating campaigns on crucial issues like student hunger, to alumni making an impact amongst students long after they’ve graduated.

While Mandela University’s transformative engagement agenda may, at times, seem out of reach in light of the many wicked challenges facing us on a global and local scale, these stories show that it is possible for the youth to change the narrative – and indeed many of them already are. Here are just two of those stories:

GreenTEC: A group of seven formerly unemployed youth make up the Green Technologies Engineering Cooperative – GreenTEC. GreenTEC is leading the Greenhouse Project on Missionvale Campus - one of our signature projects – and serves as a shining testament of what it looks like for youth to rewrite the narrative. Read more here.

Grab and Go Foundation: Founded by Mandela University alumnus, Lumka Cube, the Grab and Go Foundation is a non-profit organisation. Run by students, for students, Grab and Go is making a difference amongst students and the broader city of Gqeberha. Read more here.

Amy De Raedt is an MA graduate and soon-to-be PhD student, currently working in the Engagement Office at Nelson Mandela University.