Say YES, to go on a community service exchange to Mozambique
Click here to Download your application form for SayXchange 2013!
Participate in the 2013 Southern Africa Youth Exchange Programme (SayXchange)!
The Southern Africa Trust will open this year's southern Africa youth exchange (sayXchange) programme for applications from Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa.
Young people between the ages of 18 and 25 years old are eligible to apply to participate in the programme. The closing date of the applications is 31st May 2013.
There will be 30 participants in total for the 2013 programme. Zambian, Malawian and Mozambican participants will be selected to volunteer for five months in community service projects within the Gauteng region of South Africa, and South African participants will go to Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique for similar volunteering. The participants will be housed with families in the communities where they are placed from 08 July 2013 to 09 December 2013.
By participating, they will have the opportunity to widen their horizons, experience other cultures and experience living in another southern African country. They will also volunteer to promote responsible citizenship amongst youth.
SayXchange is a Southern Africa Trust cross-border initiative that promotes people-based regional integration and a southern African regional identity amongst young people. It helps nurture the development of leaders with a regional perspective in southern Africa by encouraging youth engagement in civic affairs across borders.
For participants like Mihlali Mpuntsha, SayXchange has changed her life in different ways. As she commented during the post-return orientations held in February 2012, “SayXchange has really changed the way I think about myself and others. I am more knowledge about other peoples’ lifestyle and culture for instance.” She also added that she would like to do more for her community and encourage the promotion of regional integration and a common regional identity.
According to Katiana Ramsamy, Project Coordinator at the Southern Africa Trust, the last two exchange programmes were very successful. “Not only did the SayXchange participants learn about other cultures, societies and languages, but they are also motivated to give back to their communities. Also, these young people are beginning to think really about the importance of regional integration in southern Africa, especially in terms of overcoming issues like poverty in the region,” said Katiana.
The programme was conceptualised following the 2008 xenophobic attacks in South Africa on people from other African countries. Through this programme, the Trust is working to build bridges between communities across the region, boosting intercultural understanding, and helping to develop a shared southern African regional identity. After their participation in the exchange programme, participants return to their home countries to undertake local community-based projects and become involved in volunteerism.