UP2US and KMF
Shikaya Presents the Up2Us Xperience to the Kay Mason Foundation Alumni
The Kay Mason Foundation (KMF) is an organisation that “funds scholarships to a range of schools, both private and public.” Their aim “is to make the best education available to all.”
Shikaya presented an opportunity to the Kay Mason Foundation Alumni to experience the Up2Us journey. These graduates felt a strong desire to be advocates for positive change in their communities and in society through acting as mentors and positive role models to the current KMF scholars and the young people in the community.
We held a full-day interactive Up2Us workshop at the KMF offices in Cape Town. Natasha Dyer of KMF introduced the programme by sharing her story of inspiration and asking participants to take the time to write their story about a day, person or experience that inspired them. Natasha’s aim was to encourage participants to open up to the possibilities of the day, the exploration of self and the realisation of untapped potential.
The Up2Us ‘journey’ starts with the exploration of individual identity and the way in which our identity and potential is so often shaped by circumstances and those around us. Through ‘Fly, Eagle, Fly’ participants engaged with the way in which we are shaped by our communities, and so often, encouraged to conform rather than fulfill our potential. Discussion was thoughtful. Participants noted that more often than not, conformity is something that we tolerate – that we allow.
“Fly eagle Fly! So many people, in fact all of us need to hear that story. It has made me look deep within and realise my potential and how much I need to keep on trying.” – Matapelo
This was also compared to the desire for acceptance and to group association. Participants, in their discussion, concluded that we need to be motivated, if not by ourselves, then by someone else who believes in our capability and potential, and that what we really need is a moment of awakening – we need to have faith in ourselves and recognise that we can be those people who achieve their goals and realise their dreams.
“The story of the Eagle made me realise that everyone needs someone who can believe in them, in order for one to reach their full potential.” – Portia Gxasheka
The journey came to end once we had shared stories of identity, belonging and leading by example. Participants shared their words of hope and in creating their “Charter to Build a Nation” highlighted what it is they choose to stand for and stand against and how they would do this.
“I would love to be a part of it (Up2Us) again. It was amazing.” – Khwezi
“I learnt more about myself and what I could do to be an active citizen.”- Sinazo
I feel inspired to be an UPstander “in my community and the rest of the world as I learnt that standing up for good can change the world.”- Bongo
“Up2Us is a great programme and there are a lot of Community Based Organisations that could really benefit from it, so keep up the good work and carry on teaching. I’m inspired!!” - Lungelwa
” The identity chart hepled me explore aspects of myself I wasnt aware of” – Cameron
“I feel that we are being groomed as a group to fight against the problems that were caused by apartheid. That only sinked in today.”- Sethu