The Change Makers (South Africa)

“The Change Makers” is the focus of the Phase 1 South Africa project for Changing the Story. 

The core South Africa strand team consists of Prof. Stuart Taberner (Co-Investigator, University of Leeds), Prof. Chaya Herman (Co-Investigator, University of Pretoria), and Tali Nates (Lead Delivery Partner, South African Holocaust & Genocide Foundation (SAHGF)), along with a number of other colleagues and organisations in South Africa and beyond.

As part of Changing the Story, The Change Makers team conducted a critical review based on work completed for a previous Global Challenges Research Fund project ‘Mobilising Multidirectional Memory to Build More Resilient Communities in South Africa’. In that project, Dr Charity Kombe and Professor Chaya Herman (University of Pretoria), working in collaboration with Professor Stuart Taberner and Dr Matt Boswell (University of Leeds), conducted an initial evaluation of one of the education projects of the South African Holocaust and Genocide Centre (SAHGF), and specifically its involvement in the Change Makers programme developed by the SAHGF and other partners in Rwanda such as Aegis Trust in conjunction with the Salzburg Global Seminar.

Participants of The Change Makers programme at South African Holocaust & Genocide Centre, Johanessburg.

The Change Makers Programme (CMP) is one of a series of global initiatives to create education programmes, drawing on historical traumas, to encourage the new generations to become active upstanders and leaders of change and to resist extremism. Change Makers was piloted in October 2017 among learners from Thabo Secondary School in Soweto South Africa and in November 2017 among learners from Agahozo Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda. The evaluation report examined the theory of change that guided the development of the pilot programme; how the programme developed and implemented; and what the facilitating and hindering factors were in the implementation of the programme. It further identified success factors and made a series of recommendations for any future scaling-up of the programme.

The proof of concept project has built on the outcomes of both the Change Makers programme and the broader SAHGF suite of programmes to inform how the Change Makers programme is rolled out across South Africa and – mirroring a pilot project led by the SAHGF in Senegal and The Gambia with the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation – in a pilot project in Nigeria. Concretely, a pilot for the Change Makers Programme has been rolled out in Nigeria to ‘train the trainers’ from the American University of Nigeria. The GCRF team will provide continuous input as this programme is developed and implemented, to critically assess its evolution, offer advice and input, and finally complete a report on its effectiveness.

In May 2018, the Johanessburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre and partners hosted the first international workshop for Changing the Story, entitled ‘Mobilising Histories of Discrimination, Persecution and Genocide to make progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals’. You can read a full report of this interdisciplinary workshop here.

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South Africa

The ‘Change Makers’ is the focus of the Phase 1 South Africa proof of concept project for Changing the Story, and is now being piloted across different countries across Sub Saharan Africa.

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