Columba Leadership promotes youth activism

  • 28 October 2013| Opinion

Columba Leadership is a non-profit organisation with area of focus in offering leadership academy programmes for learners in disadvantaged schools.

These programmes place strong emphasis on personal, social and environmental responsibility, and draws heavily on the teaching power of lessons from the natural environment.

Columba works with principals, teachers, local community members and corporate partners to engage young people in its leadership development programme.

Columba also offers leadership academies designed to suit the leadership development needs of educators, professional organisations and corporate partners.

A striking example of the work that Columba Leadership does, is the story of Manyangana High School in Mpumalanga, where problems such as absenteeism, teen pregnancies and low pass rates were the norm.

In partnership with the Department of Basic Education, Columba trained 11 learners and three educators in values-based leadership. The learners then repaired the school's toilets, started a vegetable garden, cleaned and renovated classrooms, improved the library and raising funds for uniforms for less fortunate learners. They were also challenged to engage with their peers and social networks to spread what they had learned.

Within a year, Manyangana High School's absenteeism had dropped significantly, pregnancies were reduced from 12 to three, and the matric pass rate rocketed from 32% to 91% – including 45 distinctions, five of them for mathematics.

Here is a video of this remarkable success story:

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