School pupils finding common ground in the Valley of a Thousand Hills
The brainchild of Kearsney College head boy Phoka Mchunu, the Generation We initiative is a peer-to-peer rather than and adult-to-minor effort to get peers to share their stories and get to know one another.
“I decided this was a perfect way of starting a youth movement.”
One hundred and forty from Mchunu’s school as well as Hilton College, Michaelhouse, St Anne’s, St Mary’s DSG, Kloof High and Hillcrest High teamed up with a matching number of others from the Imbeleko Foundation to talk about issues facing the youth.
“There’s a misconception that the youth are interested only in technology and are unaware of their surroundings and history. This shows that we are aware and that we are vocal,” Mchunu said.
They also completed a 5km hike together and planted a Natal mahogany tree.
“The isiXhosa name for this tree is uMkhulu, or grandfather, and the isiZulu name is uMthunzi, meaning shade, as people will continue to share their own unique stories under this tree of shade,” Phoka said.
Mchunu said that because of matric pressures, pupils in younger grades would have to pick up the baton and follow through with the initiative and grow it in years to come.