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News | Queen Elizabeth’s Young Leaders

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Jessica Dewhurst and Lerato Lethube are two young women from Cape Town who are living the #SuperLife. Recently Jessica and Lerato were awarded a prestigious Queen’s Young Leaders Award – an award recognising young people across the Commonwealth who are making a positive change in their communities. Jessica, an advocate for human rights, and Lerato, who works with children in the township of Langa, both beacons of light and an example of how ordinary South Africans can contribute to positive change.

Here are Jessica’s tips on how you can make a difference not only in your community, but in the country, and even the world!

Volunteer
All you need to do is give up some of your free time, Jessica also recommends signing up for an NGO (non-governmental organisation), or even just find out where your can help out in your community, and then go.

Educate yourself
If you really want to make a difference, you need to know about the field you’re volunteering in – if you’re working with children, learn about children’s rights, take a course in social development, or read up on child care. One of the most important things, says Jessica, is getting to know the community, especially the elders, because you can learn a lot from them.

Remember the reason you’re there
Volunteering or working for a good cause is about the cause, and not about the praise you’ll get for doing something good – you should never forget that.

Look after yourself
Sometimes when you work in a cause you’re really passionate about, you forget to take some time out and reflect on the work you’re doing. Jessica says that while it’s easy for social work to become your life, it’s important to remember to take some time off do other things that you love doing, like spending time with your family.

Network with others
When doing social service work, it’s always a good thing to connect with likeminded people, and organisations to partner with that share your passion. As much as you support others, you also need others to support you in order to succeed in your work to help the community.

So if you’d like to make a positive change and have an impact on the growth of your community, get up, get out there, volunteer, and help others live the #SuperLife

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