“The National Youth Camp seeks to change behaviour, attitudes and empower the youth about opportunities at their disposal. The camp will also assist with mentoring and teaching young boys to grow into men who value and respect women,” said the Department of Social Development.
The department on Wednesday said the event will be a youth leadership development programme that encourages healthy growth by providing young people with the ability to analyse their own strengths and weaknesses.
The camp will also encourage youth to set personal and vocational goals and to gain the self-esteem, confidence, motivation and abilities to carry out those goals not only for themselves but for the communities from which they come.
“As we mark the 17th anniversary of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign in South Africa, under the theme ‘Count me in: Together moving a non-violent South Africa forward’, youth also have an important part to play in this course.
“Youth will therefore be encouraged to be agents of change in their communities against alcohol and substance abuse and its consequences, especially as they contribute to gender-based violence,” said the department.
In his State of the Nation Address (SONA) in February, President Jacob Zuma declared 2015 as the year of investing more in South Africa’s future by educating children and the youth about the rich heritage of the country.
The camp will be held under the theme “Youth moving South Africa forward through active community involvement”.
“The National Youth Camp will be held in collaboration with the Department of Defence and National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).
“It will also serve as a platform to advance the aspirations of the 1955 Freedom Charter which affirmed that government shall discover, develop and encourage national talent for the enhancement of our cultural life,” said the department.
The department said it has established the Gender-Based Violence Command Centre (GBVCC), which will render 24-hour services to support and counsel victims of gender-based violence.
It said the toll-free number to call for assistance is 0800 428 428 (0800 GBV GBV). Callers can also request a social worker from the Command Centre to contact them by dialling *120*7867# (free) from any cell phone.