St Andrew’s College proudly hosted the Round Square’s regional conference. Seventy high-school students from all over the African continent traveled to Grahamstown/Makhanda for the five-day conference. The conference delegates were exposed to speakers, activities and workshops designed to encourage discussion, collaboration and personal growth.
The conference programme was designed to expose pupils to the social, economic and environmental realities we face in the Eastern Cape. We helped our community partner, Ikhaya Losizo, renovate a room so that they may start a counselling centre in their foster homes. The Bornfree Conservation Trust showed us their model of environmental stewardship as they try to keep wildlife in the wild. The delegates showed bravery in facing these challenges head-on, acknowledging their role in the status quo.
The conference also focused on empowering the delegates to be able to take charge of their worlds. Pepper the Robot had a keynote address where we spoke about the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the role of technology and those who are able to use it. Amanda Rinquest from Equal Education shared their model of youth activism for justice. Delegates also presented a Dragon’s Den pitch, where they tried to convince the judges that their ideas for social entrepreneurship should be funded. On the last night, Freshlyground flew in from Cape Town to provide the delegates with some well-deserved down-time.
The most meaningful part of the conference was the small group discussions that were held after every session. These Baraza meetings provided delegates with a chance to talk about the big issues with like-minded individuals, to practice their problem-solving and team work. A big thank to Harry Sandell, Kitso Mokgatlhe, Matthew Thompson, Stuart Christie, Haydn John and Neo Mangena for facilitating these discussions and looking after the delegates.
A big thank you to everyone involved.