YES is highlighting an alum from each year of the program.
By Boikemelo Morake (2017-2018, South Africa, placed by ACES in Redding, CA)
As part of YES Appreciation Day and Mental Health Awareness Month activities, Boikemelo Morake '18, Makhosazana Maphalala '19, Tinashe Makhetha'22, and AFS South Africa collaborated with the Wearable Creative Centre and the Good Hope Center for people with mental disabilities on a mural art project.
We joined forces with residents of the Good Hope Center and Soweto by assisting the Center to paint a traditional art mural on one of the walls of the primary school. It was truly amazing to see the excitement, enthusiasm, and satisfaction on the faces of all the volunteers, especially the residents from the Good Hope Center. They were overjoyed that they could make an impact in their community and be respected for the work that they have done.
I think we all learned that having a mental disability does not mean an inability to make a difference, it enables one to make a change in one's community by creating awareness about mental health issues.
As YES alumni, we appreciate the opportunity to be part of these great initiatives, to have gone on an exchange and learned the skills necessary to conduct our own projects within our communities. Great thanks to the Good Hope Center, Wearable Creative Centre, AFS South Africa and the YES program for molding the future changemakers of South Africa and for helping us raise awareness about mental health.