Youth speak out at Free State’s 1st Regional Youth Forum

Written by SSA Youth Influencer Betty Hlathi

The Free State Region is experiencing a drive of growth and revitalisation. Regional Commissioner Sello Legegeru and Regional Young Leaders Representative Katleho Mokoena have been pushing hard to engage with their youth and to reestablish structure and programme implementation within the Region.

Recently, the Free State hosted its very first Young Leaders Conference in Clarens. A total of 82 youth and 22 adult volunteers attended the event where the development of youth in the Region was discussed. SSA Youth Influencer Betty Hlathi spoke to 1st Qwa-Qwa Scout Group Leader Mpho Andrew Mofokeng and 1st Tjhebelopelo Troop Scouter Tiisetso Masila about the importance of this first Youth Conference for the Region.

“According to my perspective I thought the Free State Youth Forum was going to be similar to the Annual Regional Meetings where the majority of the event is learning about practical instances and how to adhere to the rules, regulations, and policies. However, the forum was exceptional! The whole Region shared their issues respectively, and together we came up with possible solutions that would be useful to the various Districts within the Region”, explains Mpho. “As for me, I really didn’t set much expectations.  I can honestly just say that I went to the Youth Forum with an open mind, willing to learn everything there is to learn and take back to my Group as much information as I possibly can” adds Tiisetso.

“The event was effective to the whole Region. The manner in which the sessions were facilitated, time was managed, and the discussions were held, rendered it to proceed effortlessly and professionally”, continue Tiisetso and Mpho. “Our various Troops per District presented their challenges, and it was clear that we share related challenges as Troops. Because if this similarity, the programme coordinators used a single Troop to address the challenges and provide possible solutions that can be used within the various Troops who have similar challenges. Engagement was on point as many questions were answered. Although we wish we had more time, as time was insufficient to provide solutions for all Troops. Our youth are thirsty to be fully invested in Rovering, which is a motivating gesture for both internal and external forces.

The moment that really melted our hearts, was the last day of the Youth Forum. Our uniform is our pride. To witness all members in their khaki uniform together was a great honour, and wearing BP’s uniform with confidence just takes one back to when we started being a member of this Movement,” they state with a smile. “Marching through the streets created the greatest atmosphere ever, we were proud of ourselves! It was like when you inform your friends of your loving cousins, and then they finally meet. It was amazing! I don’t want to lie”, adds Tiisetso.

“The event was both a success and a blessing to our Region. We are ready to grow and take the Free State where it’s supposed to be. We are ready for more annual Youth Forums, it’s us against us!