- An exciting new Southern Africa youth exchange programme, sayXchange,will be launched in Maputo, Mozambique, on Tuesday, 23 February 2010.
Graça Machel, earlier launched the programme aimed at young people aged between 18 and 25 years old, in Johannesburg, South Africa. Mrs Machel urged young people to embrace their regional identity and to cultivate a deep self-knowledge as southern Africans.
“Mutual acceptance rather than tolerance is necessary to make us strong and enable us to share a common future and destiny in the region,” she said.
The sayXchange programme nurtures a regional development perspective amongst future leaders by promoting civic participation amongst young people. It also aims to build bridges between communities and promote intercultural understanding amongst young people in southern Africa.
Mrs Machel recalled the xenophobic attacks in 2008 on migrants living in South Africa and said poverty and deprivation of basic needs can dehumanise even the nicest of people. “We should never push our people to a point where they have to struggle for survival,” she said.
Neville Gabriel, the Executive Director at the Southern Africa Trust, encouraged people to nominate participants for the programme, or offer to host young people on exchange. “SayXchange provides a tremendous opportunity to develop leadership potential in young people with a sound regional understanding,” he said.
The Southern Africa Trust’s Change4ever Ambassador and songstress Unathi, officiated at the launch which was attended by over 90 civil society leaders, media and young people from southern African regional youth organisations.
The sayXchange youth programme was developed by the Southern Africa Trust in collaboration with AFS Interculture South Africa.
AFS Interculture is an international, volunteer-based, non-governmental organisation that provides intercultural learning opportunities to help people develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world.
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