Today one of Genesis Youth’s most valued family members is embarking on a journey of a lifetime. Sim Cele, manager and in many ways, the founder of the Genesis after School Program, is traveling to the United States of America. She is part of a delegate of 200 young, civic, businessmen/women, and public managers from Sub Saharan Africa.
The initiative bears the name of South Africa’s beloved icon Nelson Mandela, and it has been calling Sim’s name for some time. Sim’s journey began over three years ago when she first applied for the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.
Always looking for ways to enhance her passion for community development, Sim was searching the U.S. Embassy’s Facebook page when she first came across the potential opportunity. She applied three times before finally being accepted March 26, 2016; a date she has no trouble recalling.
“Last year I remember telling my friend, it would be the last year I applied,” Sim remembered.
Sim was selected for a series of interviews, and was chosen to join the fellowship under the banner of Civic Leadership. She was one of 40,000 applicants from all African nations and one of 1000 from Sub Saharan Africa. She is the only representative from Southern Kwa-Zulu Natal. This is truly an accomplishment and opportunity of a life time for this 27-year-old from Port Shepstone.
Sim is excited, and a little bit nervous, about her trip to the States. She has reason to be a bit apprehensive as she will be visiting Washington D.C., and meeting President Barak Obama, and many other Heads of State. She will also travel to Illinois where she will be part of an intensive course in civic leadership. Apart from all the excitement of travelling abroad, Sim is very much aware, this fellowship is a tremendous educational opportunity for herself.
“It is all designed to give young African leaders the opportunities to learn further about what it is we are doing. It will teach us more about how to do our jobs and how to be more professional. It is also an amazing opportunity to network with other civic leaders,” Sim said.
The youth of Merlewood will be the ultimate beneficiaries of this program, as Sim hopes to bring all she has learned back home to enhance the work already taking place at GAP. Ordinarily she teaches Maths, English, fun Science, and Life Skills courses during her after school classes. These will surely take on a whole other dimension after Sim returns home. It is a scenario where the teacher becomes the student, in order to return a better educator... the completion of the circle of education.
Follow Sim: @simgiggles
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