On Saturday 10th of June 2023, throughout the day, 24 learners from KwaBhekilanga and East Bank high schools in Alexandra will converge at Mandela Square, Sandton to deepen the meaning of creating safe spaces for Valued Citizens “to live the Constitution”. This event will also be graced by our valued stakeholders, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, the Gauteng Department of Education and The French Embassy in South Africa.

Thanks to Liberty 2 Degrees in partnership with Valued Citizens Initiative, the proceedings will include a reflection on the Sondela Open Dialogues which were led by 64 Grade 10 learners accompanied by their teachers from KwaBhekilanga and East Bank high schools early this year. These dialogues focused on values – constitutional values and personal values and how living them protect our constitution, the meaning of our constitution and its 27 rights. Then, our learners engaged meaningfully into what hinders our sense of safety in South Africa. They also explored how trust, peace and freedom in our country strengthen a sense of safety and what is required from all of us living in it.

With the guidance of African contemporary artists namely Daniel Stompie Selibe, Ephia Mmbidi and Isa Schwartz Gesseau, our learners will experience the power of visual art to express on a “free space” – a blank canvas their aspirations. Tapping into their own creativity and problem-solving skills, they will draw their concept departing from the realities they live in and the actions we can all take as active Valued Citizens.

Constitutional Rights Education is an essential element for developing youth understanding and appreciation of our democracy and constitution. It is a crucial programme to expand the principles of democracy and fundamental human rights which can have a significant, positive impact to the youth’s behaviour and attitude towards the country’s constitutional democracy. It assists in building positive social values, reducing social intolerance, tackling gender disparities, reducing violence, and building trust and appreciation of our constitution and democracy.

Valued Citizens Initiative and the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development cooperate in various activities aimed at promoting constitutional literacy, citizenship education and the Bill of Rights in young people. The visual art process aims to provide an opportunity for the youth to tap into their creativity and bring forth their inner-most aspirations, fears and concerns through their art pieces and impressions of our democracy, constitutional values and society at large.

“Sustainable development is only achievable through a value driven society, and engaging our youth as critical thinkers in all spheres is crucial if we want to solve some of the challenges we face today and, in the future,” says Amelia Beattie, Chief Executive at Liberty Two Degrees. “As business, not only do we need to be actively creating

and engaging with initiatives that drive accountable active citizenry amongst our youth, but we also need to ensure that we are creating safe spaces that allow for this engagement, creativity and dialogue to flourish. At Liberty 2 Degrees, we remain committed to initiatives that drive genuine socio-economic participation and true transformation, and the Valued Citizens Initiative and their Sondela Open Dialogues resonate soundly with our internal values around diversity, inclusion, passion and creating an empowering culture that enables sustainable outcomes and meaningful opportunities for all South Africans.”
“These dialogues instil pride in the youth as they find their voice, live out our constitutional values and lead valued projects, which give them a sense of ownership that translates into an enhanced sense of accountability,” says Podetti-Ngono.

For more information or to arrange for an interview, please contact Carole Podetti on 082 451 9393/011 781 9462.