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Learning, sharing and networking || Member States gather in South Africa from 21 to 23 February for the annual Sharing Meeting

Posted by Karabo Kgophane on 05 April 2023, 10:20 SAST
Karabo Kgophane photo

During the second last week of February, delegates from across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region assembled in Durban to learn, to share best practices and to network at the annual Care and Support for Teaching (CSTL) and FutureLife-Now! Sharing Meeting.

Delegates during the breakaway session on ‘Sharing post-COVID challenges and good practices’ on Day 2 of the FutureLife-Now! Sharing Meeting

Over a hundred people participated, online and physically, with 14 of the 16 SADC Member States represented, as well as FutureLife-Now! partners such as UNITAR, UNICEF and Save the Children International.

 Dr Lamboly Kumboneki of the SADC Secretariat set the tone with his informative and insightful keynote address: Reaping the demographic dividend—realising the potential of Africa’s youth, which provided food for thought that delegates mulled over and discussed long after Dr Kumboneki had finished.

A group of four young adults responded directly to the address, providing youth perspectives that were interesting and thought-provoking.  Other major themes that were discussed over the three days included Building back better as part of COVID-19 recovery; Challenges and good practices regarding the delivery of youth-friendly health support and services; Child safeguarding; Taking action on climate change.

Delegates during the breakaway session on ‘Sharing post-COVID challenges and good practices’ on Day 2 of the FutureLife-Now! Sharing Meeting

An important aspect of these meetings has been for Member States to share what their countries are doing with regards to addressing the challenges confronting learners by mainstreaming care and support, as well as to network with each other. This year was no exception: Member States mounted exhibitions that showcased their achievements and best practices, which everyone was able to view during “off times”, but especially at the welcome networking event on the first evening (21 February). Not only did participants learn about what can be achieved in care and support, but they had chance to “let their hair down”. The opportunity such an event provides for socialising with colleagues from across southern Africa is invaluable: it fosters the forging of links that can—as they have in the past—bear fruit in the months and years ahead.



Dr Lamboly Kumboneki, who delivered the keynote address

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