The US ambassador, Michelle Gavin, has applauded Hip Hop artist, Zeus, for his extraordinary commitment to youth’s development through his “I AM” campaign.
Gavin spoke during the launch of Phase Two of the “I AM” Youth Leadership Project.
The “I AM” campaign is a self-development and leadership training program targeting teens between the ages of 11 and 19, either in or out of school. The program aims to guide the young participants in finding their life’s purpose and helping them take the first steps in what will be a lifelong journey of learning, achieving and sharing in a chosen field or discipline that they are passionate about.
Gavin said Zeus is known to many as an international celebrity performer although she claimed to know Zeus from a slightly different way. “I know him as a young man who knows how important today’s youth are to a society’s success in the future,” she said.
She added that Zeus has proven this with the lyrics and the message that he conveys as a musician and efforts like the “I AM” project.
“I AM” Phase Two is being implemented in Gaborone West Community Junior Secondary School and Ledumang Senior Secondary School, along with Livingstone Kolobeng College and Sir Seretse Khama Community Junior Secondary School, which participated in Phase One in 2011-2012.
The project will directly reach 120 participants in the four school communities and includes group interaction with almost 500 students. The DIY Organization is using the “Life Is a Journey” curriculum, with segmented sessions covering Self-Discovery, Finding One’s Life Purpose, Role Modeling, Community Mapping, and Community Outreach.
Zeus’ commitment to today’s young people, for going beyond just saying the words that today’s youth matter, and for working hard to give them the self-awareness, the skills, the vision, and the confidence that will enable them to build a brighter future for Botswana.
She expressed the USA’s commitment to ensuring that it does all it can to reach out to youth and to help them become the leaders that build a brighter future particularly in Africa where youth make up such a large part of the population.
“We are so pleased to be able to work with people like Zeus and the team at the D-I-Y Organization, and that is why we have been such strong supporters of the “I AM” project,” said Gavin.
The “I AM” program aims to help youths find real purpose in life, reduce the chances that they will suffer from abusing alcohol or drugs as well as give knowledge and awareness to protect youths from HIV and other diseases. In addition, the program endeavors to teach youths on how to be role models to others, and to think beyond.
Gavin encouraged the students to begin thinking about their future. “The future is not just 10 or 20 years from now – its tomorrow; the choices and the actions that you take today and tomorrow have the power to make the person you are in 10 or 20 years,” she said.