Youth’s burning desire to help Eldos community

Ayanda Ngwenya.

Since his days as a scholar at Willow Crescent Secondary School (WCSS), Ayanda Ngwenya has always wanted to make a difference in his community.

He volunteered at the South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (SANCA) as a learner at WCSS.

After matriculating, he started working hand-in-hand with another notable anti-drug activist, Paris Makaringe.

Ngwenya also engages with the scholars at WCSS where he wishes to encourage participants to develop a personal vision by valuing what they have and to protect it from negative influences such as substance abuse.

Sweetheart Khumalo, a Grade 8 learner at the school said, ”The lesson we got today was very interesting. I learnt about the personal shield and the meaning of personal as well as the shield.

“It was very fruitful because it teaches us to become better people and to make positive choices for ourselves moving forward in life and know that drugs are harmful.”

Ngwenya said, “I carried on with the love and passion of working with the community but I had to leave SANCA with Makaringe and move into a different field due to tough times in my family, but my heart always kept looking backwards to a stage where I felt the need to be back on the ground doing what I love.

“Luckily Paris and I have been in the same struggle of uplifting the youth within our community. He called me up to join him and a group of young people who started an organisation called Lonwabo Lwesizwe, which translates to Joy of the nation.”

He added that being back and doing work in his community brought back the fire that burns inside, which is doing what he loves-not for the sake of making money-but being the change in his community.

He said, “I serve as an accountant in the organisation which is committed to creating a youth platform for development.

“We hope to expose them to appropriate skills and activities which can steer them away from unlawful activities such as substance abuse, drugs and crime.”

According to Ngwenya, his aim is to promote a goal-orientated youth through creating platforms in sectors which have a shortage of similar programmes.

The organisation aims to promote unity, non-racialism, non-sexism and hopes to establish branches within the identified areas to better social services and cohesion.

He said that by the grace of God he found himself being employed by Kumaka as a ke-Moja coach, a department of social development drug prevention programme which focuses on educating the youth about the dangers of drug abuse.

His duties as a ke-Moja coach are facilitating the ke-Moja programmes in schools, sectors of the community and referring relevant cases to social workers as he works closely with them.

He said, “I’m also part of the Eldos Arts and Jazz Festival as a volunteer. Sitting around and doing nothing as a young person is no excuse while there is so much to do with our free time.”

Lonwabo Lwesizwe is planning on hosting a volleyball tournament, but the challenge that they are faced with is obtaining sponsorship of volleyball equipment.

Ngwenya added that it would be highly appreciated if anyone can assist with equipment.

For more information regarding Ayanda Ngwenya, feel free to contact him on 078 043 1021.

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Dane Job

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