South Africans are used to hearing bad news. We see it strewn across the front of newspapers, on our social media feeds and even hear it from our friends and neighbours.

But is that the only story? Back in February i started a series titled, ‘One person who Gives me Hope in South Africa is…’ and was super encouraged to see a number of you sharing stories about someone you know who is busy making a difference.

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i recently stumbled upon the LEADSA initiative on the Twitterer @lead_sa with over 148 thousand followers and another 65 thousand to be found on their Facebook group. With that much support it is clear that the positive stories are very much out there and this is one great place to find them.

As they declare on their site: “YOU can change the world. Lead SA is a personal call to every person to make a difference. We all have a responsibility to make the world a better place. It could be as simple as making a stranger smile or as big as fighting to further the rights entrenched in our Constitution. Each act makes a difference. This website tells the stories of people who are making our country a better place.”

Margaret Mead Quote on changing the world

Every month LEADSA highlights a Youth Hero of the Month, from nominations that you can give via the site. In June it happened to be 6 Youth Hero’s as the focus was on 6 grade six girls from Micklefield Primary School, who started a bracelet selling business for their EMS subject at school for the purpose of raising funds to sponsor a child for a year’s care at the Christine Revell Childrens Home [R9600].

Luke Links is another grade 6 people, who at eleven years of age, was inspired by an English lesson on LEADSA to mobilise his whole school into donating non-perishable items to a night shelter, run by the local Bellville Presbyterian church.

One hundred and seventeen pages of Inspirational Stories can be found on the LEADSA.co.za site as well as news of projects they have been involved in and a series of pages to help inspire you in a number of ways you can be part of making positive change in South Africa. And also the all important tab for nominating a young person that you have noticed doing something significant in your community to possibly win Youth Hero of the Month.

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In fact, it was just the other day [4th August] that LEADSA celebrated 5 years of existence and really seems to be picking up steam now. From a #StopRapeCampaign to a #NoToXenophobia lead vigil, and from a #MissingChildren installation to the #TeamUpToCleanUp campaign, it seems there is no end to the number of exciting and transformative projects that LEADSA is helping inspire and draw attention to.

As LEADSA reminds us on their site:

It is overwhelming to think about all the campaigns and projects we have done over the years, the many organisations we have partnered with, the citizens we have met and how quickly the time passed.

We will continue to promote the philosophy of active citizenship.

It is thanks to many ordinary citizens that we stand five years later – stronger, more determined and infinitely inspired to continue building a South Africa that we can all be proud of.

You don’t need to walk on the moon in order to bring about positive change, but rather that whether an act is big or small, incredibly personal and painful, or simply uplifting, the impact can be massive.

i have to say i am thoroughly inspired and excited for this growing movement that seeks to focus heavily on the positive news and change that is happening around us, rather than doom and gloom us all into abject depression. Here’s to you LEADSA as you continue to inspire, raise up young heroes and call us all towards being Change Agents in our country.

[For other posts looking at South Africa and some of the positive ways ahead, click here]

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