Of many challenges facing South Africa, job creation and better service delivery have been arguably placed as leading priorities in recent years and consequently averting focus from underlying attributes. Which if properly focused on and dealt with can easily assist the country effectively to create opportunities addressing social and economic challenges. One of those underlying attributes is the lack of adequate career guidance in our public schools.

Responding positively to the call from the Department of Higher Education and Training, Valued Citizens Initiative wish to publish its first workbook called “Career Voices for Career Choices” which intends to present learners with the confidence to decide what they want to do in future. The vision behind this publication is to navigate towards appropriate education of careers for learners, which will enable them to assist build a country free from social ills such as poverty, unemployment and crime.

Strategically compiled, “Career Voices for Career Choices” will revolutionize career guidance books, as it incorporates ground-breaking features. One of them being: Written interviews – professionals from various careers will describe their day i.e. A day In the Life of a Civil Engineer. This right-brain approach to describing a career brings it alive and makes it ‘real’ for the learners as each professional details its hourly activities, responsibilities and experiences.

This publication “Career Voices for Career Choices – Be, Do and Have” – will become a learning support material to every Valued Citizens High Schools involved with our programmes serving mainly the township schools (75%), rural schools (15%) and suburb schools (10%) in Free State, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng and FET Colleges at national level. For this fifth Valued Citizens publication, we need to raise R831 522.98, we believe we can as nothing is impossible when we are driven so contact Carole Podetti-Ngono on 011 781 9462 or valuedcitizens@telkomsa.net and check on us on www.valuedcitizens.co.za.

Do you wish to serve the cause of Education? Or do you wish to invest in the youth and use efficiently your CSI budget to get a good rating on your scorecard? Then this is one of the way to do it investing in the youth through Valued Citizens Initiative, accountable and transparent with our partners and stakeholders, relevant with its programmes focused on quality not numbers, our team has the passion, drive and commitment towards our beneficiaries as they are our clients.

“And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” Nelson Mandela

“Leadership Fables – Featuring Golden Rules from Leaders for the Youth” encourages its readers to explore their own perspectives on the principles of leadership and in doing so, enrich them with new horizons.

The driving purpose of the book, and its creators, is to highlight the premise that with a foundation of values, our young generation will lead with ethics which will allow for people’s empowerment, economic growth and sustainable development.

Themes on the meaning of leadership in the corporate and government world and the importance of ethics related to leadership practices were dialogued and debated at primary and high schools in the Free State, Limpopo and Gauteng provinces. These debates led to the creation of fables by learners that were then converted into visual concepts in the form of cartoons, paintings and evocative words. A Golden Rule contributed by 30 captains of industry from across South Africa enhances the message of each fable and the themes followed by the visual arts.

Thirty spectacular visual images are incorporated in the art book “Leadership Fables – Featuring Golden Rules from Leaders for the Youth”, a publication which aims to highlight that Leaders are respected for their values, Leaders are doers through the positive energy of people and that Leaders are achievers.

90 children between the ages of 13 and 19 years participated with their educators in the project. Forewords to the book are by Dr Stephen R. Covey and Professor Mthuli Ncube. Creative direction by Isa Schwartz Gesseau; Zapiro, Bongi Bengu and Shiu-Lyn White.

Valued Citizen’s third art book continues the journey of allowing children and teenagers to express their thoughts and ideas creatively and actively take steps to develop their potential.

We know that social transformation occurs through education, so the Valued Citizens Initiative dared to challenge the many faces of prejudice and discrimination present in our democratic society through the medium of art. Themes on dynamics of cultures were dialogued and debated at primary and high schools in the Free State and Gauteng provinces. This led to the creation of visual concepts which, after extensive educators’ art-training workshops, resulted in these ideas being translated to the art form of collage, charcoal and evocative words.

The result is 42 spectacular visual images which have been published as “Faces and Dynamics of Cultures” – a book which on one hand aims to show the various distinctions people make between individuals on the basis of class or category (such as social, racial, religious, sexual, disability, ethnic and age-related discrimination) and on the other hand, promotes our constitutional values and human rights.

To make a bigger impact the book is divided into seven themes, each one with an introduction by a leading figure on Human Rights or an iconic figure from our achievers landscape. Children’s comments on the themes are also featured and these are followed by the visual arts covering six aspects of the theme.

Children between the ages of 9 and 18 years participated in the project. Thel Foreword is by Dr Z Pallo Jordan and creative direction by Isa Schwartz Gesseau; supported by Nhlanhla Mbatha and Shi-Lyn White.

“Celebrating Women through the Eyes of Our Children” is a special publication, which has channeled the creative energy of children and women. The art book is a celebration of women and the many and important roles they play in our society. The book promotes gender equality and women empowerment.

A hundred women achievers contributed inspirational quotes on gender issues which provided the theme for primary school learners’ art works. Girl learners created the visual artworks in collaboration with artist Severa Rech Casarino and boy learners contributed their poems as a tribute to women. A total of xx primary school learners between the ages of 10 and 15 years contributed to the project.

Our hope is that “Celebrating Women through the Eyes of Our Children” becomes the catalyst for positive thoughts and attitudes, instills pride in the citizens of South Africa, and generates greater endeavours to make this nation a better place for all.

Special Foreword by Mrs Zanele Mbeki.

“Our Earth, Our Land, Our Values” is the culmination of a two-year learning process, showcasing the knowledge and skills acquired by Valued Citizens learners and educators. The children who participated in the project ranged in age from 10 to 15 years.

The art book is earmarked for South African primary school children to trigger their creativity and to stimulate them to think about constitutional values and citizenship principles.

The compilation of poems, African proverbs and visual art is in alphabetic sequence, every value and principle translated into the eleven South African official languages as well as French.  It is a rich and authentic celebration of African Renaissance.

The Valued Citizens Initiative firmly believes that a life well lived is a life which has goals and integrity; a life which is chosen and directed by the one who lives it, even when caught in the web of society and history.  We are the creators of our path.

Special Forewords by Professor Kader Asmal and Mr Ignatius Jacobs
Creative direction by Severa Rech Cassarino

In 2001, Valued Citizens learners expressed a desire to share their learning and make known their values with others and in doing so extend the impact of the Valued Citizens Programme to a broader community. The concept of an Art book was born, to free the imagination of learners through visual art and poetry and continue the journey of allowing children and teenagers to express their thoughts and ideas

The art books are themed on our constitutional values, citizenship principles and ethics. These themes are first dialogued and debated at Valued Citizens primary and high schools. These dialogues then lead to the creation of visual concepts – which after extensive educators art-training workshops provided by South African artists – result in the ideas being translated to the art form and evocative words.

All of the VCI art books promote our Constitutional Values and Human Rights and have become learning support materials for the Valued Citizens public schools.

In order to make it more impactful, we have decided to use these art books as a tool to fundraise so we also promote these publications as corporate gifts.

The driving purpose of the books, and their creators, is to remove barriers and blinkers in people’s minds and hearts as it strives to promote and strengthen a spirit of tolerance, respect for human dignity, equality and Ubuntu in our daily lives. The art books also provide an opportunity for our children to leave a legacy to South Africa and the World.