Youth at Tembisa Secondary High School have empowered themselves with a range of potential solutions to the socioeconomic issues affecting their lives following the success of a mentoring programme called the SEACOM Solution Quest. The programme, launched on the 23rd of July, was hosted at the school by SEACOM to celebrate the third anniversary of SEACOM‘s founding.
The Solution Quest saw SEACOM employees work with Tembisa Secondary scholars to help them create their own interventions to address the largest challenges they face in their day to day lives. Every three weeks for three months, SEACOM staff in joint teams with students from Tembisa High School sought out solutions to major issues facing their impoverished community.
The winning group, as voted by their peers, identified a solution to tackle the problem of poor life skills among Tembisa Secondary students through the development of a life skills programme. This will involve ongoing contributions from SEACOM’s staff.
Says SEACOM CEO, Mark Simpson: “The SEACOM Solution Quest is a powerful way of mentoring the scholars as well as involving our entire team in a corporate social investment project. It is a sustainable approach that yields great results because it empowers the beneficiaries with the tools and skills to solve their own problems. We see this as a true social partnership rather than a donation – one that has the potential to make a real difference for the Tembisa scholars in the long term. The SEACOM staff, who have given of their time and effort during this program, have enjoyed working with the wonderful student group and can be very proud of the work they have done and the outcomes achieved.”
Students said that the initiative provided them with a hands-on opportunity to solve the social issues that they face, made them feel motivated and accountable, and gave them a foundation for personal growth into the future.
The Solutions Quest programme was also supported by Cheesekids, the Cause-Activation organisation best known for its Mandela Day campaigns. Cheesekids developed and project managed the initiative alongside SEACOM. Cheesekids’ founding member Shaka Sisulu said: “We are very pleased at the various outcomes this project has borne and we have seen a marked difference in the engagement of the students. We look forward to extending this type of programme to other schools in different locations”.
Project Facilitator Seth Naicker echoed this sentiment, stating they had been “very impressed at the commitment of SEACOM staff to holding hands with our young learners and figuring out solutions for change together.”