I am currently working with a diverse group of 52 youth facilitators, east of Johannesburg. From what they have shared, they interact often with youth who are in the most hopeless of situations in South Africa. They run a programme in which those with HIV/AIDS participate; youngsters of 13 years old who are pregnant through rape, drug addicts, and alcoholics are all part of their daily experience. The programme they run aims to empower the youngsters to see themselves as valuable, to make active and positive choices about their lives, and about their futures. They encourage the programme participants to take control, and change their own lives.
Some of the facilitators have no jobs, and run the programme. Some of the facilitators have full-time jobs, and run the programme. Some of the facilitators are students, and run the programme.
We are one and a half days into our three day programme. We are all quite exhausted. At 4pm today, we came back from tea, and one gentleman walked in and simply started singing. One by one, everyone else joined in. The attached is what I managed to record. I asked their permission to share it, because the power, beauty, spirit and tireless optimism of this group, in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds, touched me deeply.
Imagine a Board, where directors spontaneously burst into song, after a gruelling day-and-a-half strategy session, out of sheer delight in their work.