Democracy Works Academy: Training Tomorrow’s Leaders

Calling all young South African leaders with an interest in building democracy!

The Democracy Works Foundation (DWF), in partnership with the In-Transformation Initiative, introduces the first-of-it’s-kind leadership academy. The Democracy Works Academy aims to help develop critically engaged young people who will use their voices to inspire action in their communities.

DWF is a non-profit organisation, operating in several southern African countries, committed to building and sustaining strong democracies.  

One of the foundation’s newest initiatives, the Democracy Works Academy comes in recognition that South Africa has a young population that continues to grow, Noxolo Ntaka, project manager for the Democracy Works Academy, said in an interview with The Daily Vox.

“What does that mean in terms of whether we are cultivating a new generation of leaders to take over and become critically engaged citizens?” Ntaka said.  

The idea behind the academy is to develop a civic education and dialogue programme and develop, capacitate and impart knowledge and skills on the participants to create a transparent, accountable, and responsible values-based South African society. “It’s a programme aimed at looking at the values of democracy and making it relevant to young people and the communities they come from,” Ntaka said.

DWF is recruiting 30 young South Africans aged between 19-25 from North West, Limpopo, Gauteng, Free State to complete the seven-month programme. Ntaka said the aim is to select a cohort of participants that is diverse and as reflective of South Africa as possible. To achieve this, DWF has partnered up with community-based organisations which focus on youth-related work and align with democratic values to recruit that have reach in township, rural and semi-urban areas.  DWF will also open up a general application process.

Participants will undergo intense training on issues affecting South Africa including those related to healthcare, education, poverty, and inequality. At the end of the programme, participants will receive certificates to acknowledge their participation. DWF will also make a fund able to participants, which they can apply for to fund projects in their respective communities.

“The curriculum will be delivered through three residential modules taking place throughout 2019 while using an online learning platform to support learning outside of the formal modules,” DWF said in a media statement.

An important aspect of the programme is it’s online learning programme, DWF communications officer Nabeelah Khan said to The Daily Vox. “The online learning platform forms part of the foundation’s overall goal of providing technological innovations to democratic issues, participation, and civic engagement,” Khan said. The programme will focus on maximising social media and multimedia usage, teaching podcasting, vlogging, blogging, tweeting and expressing problems in a constructive, tech savvy way.

The curriculum will be delivered through three residential modules taking place throughout 2019 using a supporting online learning platform.

“DWF believes that democracy is always a work in progress and that it requires committed networks of citizens in order to ensure that the values of our democracy are upheld,” Khan said in the statement.
Applications are open and will close on 22 April 2019. You can apply here.

Featured image supplied by DWF.