Saturday, 28 February 2015

Meet the Reformist Social Venture

We had the honour of speaking to the Founder of the Reformist Social Venture, a project based in the Northern Cape, June Mokoka.

Here's what she had to share with us

Q: Please tell us about how your Organization started:
TheReformist Social Venture was founded in June 2013  after realizing that today’s youth have better education prospects, are better resourced in terms of technology, have far better opportunities to improve their lives and  yet they are the ones confronted with anguish, disillusionment and bleak economic conditions.
As its name suggests, the company was established out of the need to facilitate a new generation of independent thinkers, and provide them with quality and well researched knowledge that will further help accelerate youth empowerment for sustainable development. In our quest to create a paradigm shift in the dissemination of information, we produced SmartMoves Magazine. We featured content inspired by universal values of the Declaration of Human Rights and updates on the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by the United Nations (MDGs.  Despite an influx of online developmental debates and engagements we failed to secure a positive commitment on subscriptions. As a result, in July 2014 the SmartMoves Magazine concept ceased to exist - Giving rise to Growing Smart Leaders.

Q: Which focus areas is it intended to address:
Amidst doubts on the positive strides many governments have made to improve the quality of education and recent negative publications, the continent’s education system is perceived poor in contrast to the  high-quality and relevant international standards. A community cannot achieve adequate social problem solving skills when provided with poor education. Furthermore, , e the youth will adversely spearhead the development process in their respective communities if not included and recognised as  i. Change agents who ii.  Inspire innovation and are iii.  Potent and composite to iv.  Stimulate intelligent problem solving and decision making
TheReformist has performed a thorough feasibly study and the following are areas identified as crucial.
Negative Image Of Africa
Food Security
Finding Employment
Quality Education
Access To Capital
Financial Crisis
Health-Related Information Services
Drug Use, And Other Risky Behavior
Climate Change Human Insecurity
Rural Underdevelopment
Armed Conflict
Migration, Exploitation And Xenophobia
Q: What inspires you to contribute to society and South Africa:
The daunting social challenges such as poverty, illiteracy, corruption, unemployment, Child Labour, Human trafficking, Health, Crime, HIV/Aids, Mental Health, substance Abuse, Malaria and other diseases, Violent Civil Protests, etc fed my vision.  My vision is to support and inspire young people to use these social obstacles and create opportunities for sustainable solutions. I mentor, coach and provide them with empowering tools that will enhance their development and advancement into future leaders who recognizes that change starts with them. In order to resolve all these socio-economic challenges we need well rounded and holistically developed young minds to steer the ship.
Our aim is to provide a tactical framework for youth participation as a necessary contribution in the success and sustainability of social, economic and political policies, projects, etc.  Our approach is dynamic and can be adjusted to a local context or according to the desired development intervention of a particular social change initiative. Based on the premise that; “in recognizing them as today’s assets; we support and provide them with opportunities to map their future as responsible citizens.” Our philosophy is to encourage logic in reasoning, in addition to rational thinking and prudence in approaching social issues.
Q:  What would you consider South Africa's role to be in contributing to the Post-2015 development agenda:
A sustainable society is possible, when a network of likeminded people take collective action between businesses; government and civil society to support each other. Moreover, I have a strong conviction that success in society is inextricably linked to a thriving youth.
There's so much to do, and there's never enough time. There are deep problems, painful problems -- problems that quick fix approaches can't solve.  South Africa needs a game changing leadership, especially in an epoch where emphasis is on growth and governance. We must incorporate the meritocratic youth into South Africa’s leadership structures in order to provide renewal and growth. The blending of promising youth leaders into  leadership structures will not only rejuvenate our country’s institutions, organizations and leadership offices, but will also offer new horizons and solutions to problems, resulting in more efficient and globally competitive institutions. This might propel South Africa's role to new heights in contributing to the Post-2015 development agenda.

Q: Do you have any projects coming up that NAYD members in South Africa could participate in the month of March:

 I am in the process of planning an employment creation summit; please refer to the attached document. Theree is not much reaction due to the following reasons.
i.                     This will be my first event and I have little experience in organizing an event of such a magnitude.
ii.                   I contacted the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture with the hope that they shall connect me with their youth component, especially because they have Trail Blazers and it would be an added benefit to put their talent and skills in to good use.
Any, suggestions as to how I can go about it would be most welcome.

To Connect with the Reformist Social Venture, you may use the following details:

Twitter:       @JuneMokoka

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