Two Helenvale teen poets seize the day in Germany

Gelvandale High School pupils Anastacia Williams and Shenesia Booysen, both 17, are among the group of disadvantage young people who were identified to live, work and travel in Oldenburg, Germany, for the rest of April.
Gelvandale High School pupils Anastacia Williams and Shenesia Booysen, both 17, are among the group of disadvantage young people who were identified to live, work and travel in Oldenburg, Germany, for the rest of April.
Image: Supplied

Two teenage poets from Helenvale have seized the opportunity to wield the power of their words in Germany.

The pupils are part of a larger group of 15 Nelson Mandela Bay artists who embarked on the experience on Friday.

Gelvandale High School pupils Anastacia Williams and Shenesia Booysen, both 17, are among the group of disadvantage young people who were identified to live, work and travel in Oldenburg, Germany, for the rest of April.

The international youth exchange programme is the result of a joint venture between the SA Development, Research and Training (Sadrat) Institute, the arts, culture and heritage department of Nelson Mandela University, School@Home Winterschool Project in SA and the Jugendkulturarbeit e.V. (JKA) in Germany.

The organisers have partnered to enhance cultural development, stimulate critical consciousness and behaviour for positive youth development and strengthen civil society in both countries.

Sadrat Institute managing director Gerhard Lueck said the group of 15 had been selected from four projects with which Sadrat has collaborated.

These are the Bay Creative Writing Development Project; the School@Home Project; the Performing Arts Youth Development Programme of the Northern Areas People Development Initiative, and students from the arts, culture and heritage department and the department of social development professions at NMU.

Lueck, who is touring with the group, said the programme was in alignment with several of the United Nation’s global sustainable developmental goals, particularly the support of global citizenship.

The programme was largely sponsored by the German government and was the result of a five-year partnership of collaboration, preparation and funding applications.

“The opportunity to travel to and live in another country more than 9,000km from their home expands their world view and ignites their awareness of the global space.

“The mediums used to facilitate youth development are dance, drama, life skills and training in non-violent communication,” Lueck said.

“The outputs will be a drama and dance production which would form the foundation for an integrated youth development programme in the northern areas to be expanded to other parts of the metro.

“While in Germany the youth will embark on a creative process, and produce and perform an inspiring play with the theme of ubuntu.”

He said 15 artists from JKA in Oldenburg would visit SA from March 26-April 14 2020.

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