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Saturday, March 28, 2020
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Community activist raises awareness on climate change.

Johanna Mahlangu (34) of Winterveldt, North of Tshwane

is an active member of the community who is also a managing director of the youth group called Golden Youth Club. Mrs. Mahlangu currently enlightens schools about climate change.

She told  Spotlight news that Climate change is one of the most pressing issues in South Africa and that the impacts of climate variability and extreme events (cyclones, floods, droughts, sea level rise, and other natural disasters) are rapidly pushing people beyond their coping range.

“There are already strained economies which are being drained trying to keep up with the impacts of these changes on livelihoods. The variant of plants and animals are severely impacted, most of dry lands are vulnerable to climate change and our homestead farmers are affected. During summer and winter rainfalls the maize production, cereal and fruits production are badly affected and that affects our economy,” she said.

 At present moment this project from Golden Youth Club (GYC) has 2 groups which consist of senior group that focus and train for their phase 1 project and the junior team which is mostly involved during holidays and also performing theatre on the last day of senior project session.

“The purpose of this proposed project is to supplement the activities of the project titled Climate Change Adaptation in our local Communities. Our aim is to raise awareness about climate change and internalizing climate change adaptation in our local communities,” said Mrs. Mahlangu.

 Climate change project targets 25 schools per province which include Gauteng, North- west and Mpumalanga, during completion of the current first phase there will be monitoring and evaluation, in completion of the first phase the project will head up to other schools. Currently the project is busy with activities in Gauteng.

The Climate change project recently worked with Tidimalong Primary School in Winterveldt and Retlhalositswe middle School in Klipgat.

Mrs. Mahlangu said that out of this project she wants to archive awareness of local influential climate change policy that will be raised regarding the need and the availability of participatory methods for integrating the local government, disaster management and department of environment.

“At present moment we have no financial assistance which can be highly appreciated if we can receive it. Our project is in conjunction with schools now, I believe that I have left a mark in my community but this is not all about me as an individual, it is all about the individuals who are working with me to make a difference in the community”

“ It does not matter what background you come from whether you rich or disadvantaged background as long as you have the vision of what you want to achieve and you must not let anyone don't  to tell you that  ' Sky is the limit’ there are footprint in the moon, ”she said.

Buso Memela (22) a volunteer in technical and information stuff at Golden Youth Club studying Information Technology with University of South Africa, said that the Climate change project taught her a lot, “I was one of the people who compiled a mutual for it, but with every school we go to I learn something else and this project trains me as a facilitator, a public speaker which is totally awesome. I have always seen myself as a shy person but now I have a knowledge which I would like to share with everyone and that has taken away my shyness”

“The most important part that I like about GYC is peer leader international, which is based in Germany. Every year there is a volunteer program whereby we exchange volunteers, there are 2 volunteers coming from Germany to us in August and I will also be going to their country too in August,” she said.

After completion of the Climate change project there will be an award ceremony where all participants will receive certificates and name badges and all the art work from different school will be exhibited to different stake holders. There is also a good nutrition project  with the slogan “ take good care of nature “ which promotes gardening , the nutrition project in collaboration with the current project will start on the next phase .

Steve Machaka (23), a project coordinator at GYC said that he was inspired to join the group while he got encouragement from Mrs. Mahlangu, “I grew up closely to her, so I decided to join to help out in changing our environment in order to help, have a developing and positively progressing youth”

“If one needs to be motivated, first you need to be self motivated, and then be ready to change your mindset, then that’s where you can be able to see the difference in the community, where we need to develop and growth as a community,” he said. 

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