Kopano Thulare, Michael Thompson, Samuel Legotsa and Amogelang Pitso, young ambassadors of a leadership programme called “iCHOOSE to Change a Life” have organised the event to spread the message that every South African citizen can be an agent of positive change. “iCHOOSE to Change a Life” is a Valued Citizens Initiative programme, in partnership with Computershare, which aims to educate talented youngsters who have been in conflict with the law to formulate anti-crime campaigns within their communities. Former offenders Kopano, Michael, Samuel and Amogelang were appointed ambassadors of iCHOOSE to Change a Life following their successful completion of the iCHOOSE programme in 2009.

“Shouting for the government to create a crime-free society, as though it has sole responsibility for crime prevention, is unfair and time wasting,” says Kopano. “We have initiated Change a Life Day in Cosmo City, one of our most crime ridden townships, to urge people to roll-up their sleeves and take action in an effort to promote a crime-free society and build on the goodwill and harmony that existed during the Soccer World Cup.”

Change a Life Day will be open to all Cosmo City residents (with a R10 admission fee for adults) and the day’s programme will include self-empowerment workshops on topics ranging from child and woman abuse to parenting skills, as well as an exhibition soccer match against a team comprising Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and The Legends soccer players. There will also be visual arts and theatre performances, as well as music sessions by well-known Kwaito and hip-hop artists, DJ
Fresh and other performers.

Says Amogelang Pitso, initiator of the Change a Life day: “Seeing the person that I have become after the iChOOSE programme, I know that young people have the power to change their way of doing things, provided they acknowledge their wrongdoings and commit themselves to positive action.
I hope Cosmo City citizens will open their hearts to allow the purpose of Change a Life Day to speak to them personally, as well as collectively as a community”

“Change a Life Day” will be supported by the Values in Schools programme run by Valued Citizens Initiative, which assists primary and high school children with behavioural challenges and equips educators with communication, self leadership and management skills to bring about positive change.

Says Valued Citizens Initiative’s Managing Director, Carol Podetti
Ngono: “As Valued Citizens Initiative, it is our aim to facilitate where possible the creation of a brighter future for our upcoming youth. We hope that Cosmo City’s youth will join hands and commit themselves to the kind of society that we demonstrated we can be during the World Cup”.

Change a Life Day is to be held at Cosmo City High School I on Saturday,
24 July from 9h30 to 16h00.