Renewable Energy Imbizo drives youth education & employment

The Mpumalanga Scout Region hosted an Imbizo from the 16th to the 18th of February to kickstart their annual campaign “Solar and Renewable Energy”. The event organisers welcomed a delegation from the Eswatini Scouts Association, the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), and Solar Specialists. Addressing solar and renewable energy sources aligns to the Scout Movement’s Scouts4SDGs initiative that aims to see young Scouts contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Loadshedding in Mpumalanga impacts all our lives very negatively, especially our members living in townships. We wanted to build their knowledge around solar and renewable energy options. As Scouts we embrace conservation and going green. It is our duty to drive the narrative of renewable energy as an alternative energy source”, explains Manqoba Dlamini, Regional Coordinator for the Mpumalanga Scout Region.

“On the Friday a preparatory workshop was facilitated by the Johannesburg-based Solar Energy expert Mr Mamba for young adults, so-called Rover Scouts”, continues Mr Dlamini. “The youth present represented all the Scouting Districts within Mpumalanga and were trained in using various solar gadgets that will be included in this year’s programme roll-out. After the Imbizo, these young adults will be transferring this acquired knowledge to their fellow adult leaders, youth and children who will be using the fun and intriguing solar gadgets within their programmes.”

The Imbizo itself saw representatives from SEDA and Solar Energy Specialists sharing their expertise and knowledge with the attendees, providing valuable insights into the benefits of solar and renewable energy sources. They further highlighted the environmental and economic advantages of transitioning to clean energy alternatives, as well as the potential for job creation and entrepreneurship in the renewable energy sector.

“One of the highlights of the event was the hands-on experience that children were given through practical demonstrations of solar gadgets. The young Scouts were able to see firsthand how solar energy can be harnessed to power everyday items such as lights, radios, and even cooking appliances. This interactive approach not only engaged the children, but also helped them understand the real-world applications of renewable energy technologies” says Aaron Sigudla, the Scout Regions Finance Coordinator.

The delegation from the Eswatini Scouts Association emphasized the importance of exposing young people to sustainable energy solutions early on, as they are the future leaders who will drive the transition towards a greener and more sustainable world. The participation of the volunteers from Eswatini, falls within the recently signed MOU between SCOUTS South Africa, the Eswatini Scout Association (ESA), and the Liga dos Escuteiros de Moçambique (LEMO) whereby the three respective National Scout Organisations agreed to mutually support each other.

“The Imbizo was just the beginning of a year-long activities encouraging and educating youth and children about the importance of renewable energy, empowering them to embrace clean energy solutions, and inspiring them to become advocates for sustainable living practices in their communities. In June, we will be enabling some of our Rovers to potentially make a living through installing solar powered devices. They will be partaking in a formal training course to become certified in solar technologies installation, enabling them to acquire new skills, but also to open up employment and business opportunities for the Scouting youth”, concludes Mr Dlamini.

For more information about the initiative contact Mr Manqoba Dlamini, Mpumalanga Regional Coordinator or Natasha Kayle, National PR Manager