Who is IAWA?
Founded on the philosophy of Bothu, or “I am because we are,” I Am, We Are (IAWA pronounced eye-ow-wa) strives to empower youth with the tools to confidently own their future.
We give our ambassadors an understanding of self, stretch their belief in who they can be, and teach them how to apply the principles of entrepreneurship to create the future they envision for themselves.
After four years, we are excited to announce our first group of Ambassadors have celebrated their graduation, and the completion of IAWA’s pilot program.
Hosted by Kgosi Leruo Molotlegi, the ceremony took place at the Royal Marang Hotel, where parents and the Rustenburg community were on hand to witness the Ambassadors receiving their diplomas.
Since our first camp in October 2015, the Ambassadors participated in 10 two-week long holiday camps that “empowered them to confidently own their future.” They participated in learning excursions that allowed them to discover and explore places such as Pilanesburg National Park, Constitution Hill, Wits University, and the UNISA Science and Technology Center.
Most recently, they applied all of their learning from the camp to raise over R44 471 ($3,000) to travel to Cape Town
We are kicking off 2019 by reflecting on our top moments of 2018. Enjoy a look back at the experiences we were able to create for our Ambassadors with your support.
My journey with IAWA has been a really good, amazing, challenging, awesome and an inspirational journey. I have grown so much and traveled a lot through it and learnt about different leaders from SA and the world. It has indeed been a wonderful experience and I think if I don't stop writing now I would literally write I don't know until when possibly forever.
Jason Holley, also known as DJ Holla, is flying in from North Carolina, USA to support the IAWA Ambassador’s Battle of the DJs Saturday September 22 at Robega Community Hall. Jason shared, “I’ve always had a passion for helping others, building future generations, and passing along valued lessons to the youth. Being able to be apart of such a great program, event, and to assist a fellow Hawk was the chance I needed to give back.”
THE FILM FESTIVAL ALSO GAVE ME AN OPPORTUNITY TO WORK IN A GROUP, AND TO ACTUALLY BE IN THE DRIVING POSITION. THAT PUSHED ME TO ALWAYS PITCH UP ON TIME, TO WORK ON MY PRIORITIES FIRST, TO BE A GREAT AND A HARD WORKING LEADER. I ALSO NOTICED THE FACT THAT EVERYBODY'S OPINION MATTERS.
Through hard or good we stand as one unit, and this year is our last year as we all know. We are all going to go different directions. We want to create memories that we will always remember and enjoy ourselves in Cape Town. It’s great to experience places you have never known, as we enjoy we will learn.
This past April, POPPYN embarked on a cross-cultural media project with youth organizations in South Africa, a country with a rich historical legacy of youth organizing and leadership.
We viewed six short films created by POPPYN in perspective of the Philly youth news, Kitsong School, Bafokeng Youth Centre and I Am, We Are. We also viewed a documentary which gave people a better understanding of what I Am, We Are is and why it was started.
I have learned and seen how hard work can bring opportunities in your life. That moment when hard work opens doors. Participating in the film festivals made me realize how much potential I have and all thanks to Mr. James. Teachers like him are not easy to find. Thank you for making me improve. I cannot thank you enough. I am because we are.
A nurturing environment where tomorrow's leaders are cultivated.
With the youth employment rate averaging 51%, South Africa has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the world. IAWA is focused on empowering youth with the fortitude and skills to overcome the barriers they face pursuing their dreams.
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