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Stronger Together

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An African proverb says “If you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to go far, go together.”

This quote speaks truth to the magic that is team work, what strides it can achieve and what a powerful way to kick-start off this piece!

There comes a point in time when you question your purpose in the world and whether your dreams are worth it and still achievable? Well, this turning point happens to most people and it speaks to matters of belonging, acceptance and what it is you seek to achieve in the world. There also comes a time when the paths of different people merge out of the blue. Some call it luck, others faith or by accident. These paths seek to map out a foundation of how one links to others as part of the world. It is important for these paths to exist and when they do, be genuine, pure and beneficial.

Just as seasons come and go as part of the year, so do the various relationships we have with others. Some people shower you with blessings  through rain, others bring hard lessons through thunderstorms while others brighten up those gloomy days with the rays of sunshine that they radiate in how they relate to you. People around you are there for a reason and it is important to categorize their importance and work on strengthening those impactful relations.

We at Lebone, believe in team work as an effective tool towards achieving our objectives and as a team. We are consistently re-evaluating our position as part of the overall organization’s targets and as part of other movements that are geared towards changing the fabric of township communities. Our communities spark the light in our hearts for the work that we do. We have a drawing board that we consistently refer to and tweak in order to refurbish it. We believe in this method towards strengthening our ties and progress as a team. At times we win, at other times we stumble but we are constantly moving.

We do this as part of a collective that works together. We achieve a great deal through the various stakeholder relations we harbour and maintain. Strong teams challenge one another and they aim to enrich and develop one another as well.

A team is as strong as its members, with each member playing a critical role towards the end goal. It is also important that each member realize their significant as part of the team. Think of the collaboration that is required by a team of soccer players when a goal is scored. Ask all successful companies, CEOs, soccer clubs and winning athletes about the secretes behind their success and one thing comes top in the list – they never get to the top alone or on their own. It’s the thousands of workers on-the-ground, it’s the many investors that have their money where their mouths are, it’s the coaching team, trainers, technical and support team behind them that make it all happen.

So here is the challenge – begin first by defining your footprint as part of a team. Who are you and what do you do in the team? Establish your role.

If you have a burning desire to start something impactful, speak to close friends and people who you believe can assist you. Make the necessary actions towards taking that first step in defining your existence as part of a broader community.  Once that baseline is established, work on continually refining your commitment, passion and drive – remember why you started in the first place!

Be motivated to learn from and work well with others. Be a valuable link to the chain. Ensure that the bond does not come loose or get worn out by the small acts you do each day towards the end goal.

Then, show up, own up and be part of the action.

A successful athlete spends most of the time on-the-ground – training. A comfort zone is said to inhibit growth so push and challenge yourself where possible – The Covid-19 story is a classic case to work from.

Speak up and speak out, talk to someone when you need additional help and do not try to do things on your own (unless you’re a machine or real life Superhero of course). Depend on others, hear others out, respect opposing views and do things the way in which another person would suggest and then take it analyze the results before criticizing.

Highlight your weaknesses openly and capitalize on your strengths as part of the team. Check up on other members of the team and see how best you all can map out a way forward should a concern arise and see your team go from strength to strength – succeeding and winning together.

Take up the challenge and see your team succeed and win together. Tell us all about it through our various social media pages – we’d love to hear from you. There is still some time in this year, to win and have a strong end to the initial goals you have set for yourself and your team.

#WeAreLebone

#StrongerTogether

Lebone team helps matrics apply online

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Saturday the 8th August 2020 was a special day at Lebone.

This was because the Lebone Rivoningo Developments team embarked on a drive to help our matric mentees to apply online for the national student financial aid scheme (NSFAS) and to various institutions of higher learning and education. This was for the 2021 academic year. The applications for the 2021 NSFAS academic assistance for 2021 officially opened on the 3rd August 2020 and will close on the 30th November 2020 – a deadline we aimed to not miss.

NSFAS is a government scheme that is aimed at assisting deserving prospective students who come from disadvantaged background with funding to be able to access higher education and training. The scheme makes it possible for many dreams to be attained, that were thought to be insurmountable as a result of the barriers posed by the socio-economic barriers existing. Our mentees are not only gifted, they are also excelling academically and are aiming high for their dreams.

Youth development and empowerment is part of our core functions as an organization and having our mentees proceed with their studies post-matric is one of our targets. The national department of higher education and training announced that due to the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, online applications will be allowed as part of the main methods to apply for acceptance.

The team adhered to the new normal as well during the day where: the wearing of cloth masks that cover the mouth and nose, social distancing measures where applicable, regular disinfection of surfaces and hand sanitizing were the order of the day. This new normal is now part and parcel of our lives and sessions here at Lebone where we assure the strictest of adherence to ensure everyone’s safety. Remember to always wear a mask when in public to help limit the spread of the virus. This is now mandatory in South Africa.

Our dedicated team of mentors set aside the day, volunteered their time, services, data and laptops to help ensure the smooth process of the day. Our mentees also came prepared with the necessary documentation for the smooth progress of the application processes.  We live in a world where access to internet and computers is still a challenge to many young people and the Lebone team felt it befitting to bridge that gap by this intervention. A successful day and initiative this was!

We thank the efforts of all mentors and stakeholders who made the success of the day possible and we wish all our mentees well on their prospective academic paths for 2021. We will be sure to monitor and track their progress and report back on the milestones achieved as part of our sustainable development goals for the year and beyond.

With such strides achievable, even during these hard times, we are certain that much more can be achieved when we continue working together, supporting one another and remaining determined to see the young people of our community achieve greatness.

#WeAreLebone

Lebone celebrates Women’s Day

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9 August 1956 – a historic day in our country’s democracy that we today refer to as Women’s Day.

A day when around 20 000 women from diverse backgrounds of our nation decided to take action, standing firm and uniting against the unjust apartheid pass laws, carrying signed petitions that demanded an end to the harsh apartheid acts that affected women.

The likes of Rahima Moosa, Lillan Ngoyi, Ellen KhuzwayoBertha Gxowa, Helen Joseph, Sophia De Bruyn and many more others blazed a trail to a freedom that is now enjoyed by many of us. They marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to the office of the then prime minister J.G. Striljdom to hand over the petition that demanded the abolishment of the apartheid pass laws. Striljdom was not present at the time but the women who were leading the marches managed to leave the signed petitions outside the prime minister’s door. Striljdom’s absence agitated the marchers as can be heard on the chant that the women did – directing it to him and the apartheid government over the inhumane acts passed including the Urban Areas Act.

The women stood tall together against a system that had denied them of their human existence and compromised their quality of life.

They marched and chanted: “Wa thint’abafazi, wa thint’imbokodo!” (You strike women, you strike a rock)

Looking back, we draw from their energy, passion and strength in uniting against a system that was clearly marginalizing and dehumanizing them. They refused to take it any longer without them taking a stand and speaking up about it. It is also beautiful to note that Sophie De Bruyn (who was Williams then) is one of the only surviving powerful women who led the pack in that historic march to the Union buildings. She was only 18 years at the time she took part in the march and is now blessed and still with us at the age of 82.

Lebone Rivoningo Developments is an organization deeply rooted in the principles of humanity and community engagements that shape and mould us into who we are. Our communities and families are anchored by many faceless women who often bear the brunt of violence, shame, being silenced and often financially excluded yet continue to raise children under those dire circumstances. The many women who pray for their children and do whatever it takes to ensure that their young never go to bed hungry. They keep their homes warm and try to protect their families from any harm or danger. The women who refuse to give in when the tough times seem like they are sticking by for longer than they are supposed to. You can’t help but be moved by this undying spirit.

It’s those many women who we are encouraged and get our wisdom from and who we continue to celebrate.

Lebone is an organization founded by a black woman and comprises of a diverse, dynamic and strong team – of which 70% is composed of women.

Today, we chose to honour and celebrate them for the many sacrifices and efforts they put into the work we do. Some challenges that we encounter, require someone with an ear, someone who is tender in their approach, someone patient and who can easily offer a shoulder to cry on – the women in the team make the transition easy for all to participate, get involved and drawn in to get to a prompt solution with ease at the end of each obstacle.

The people who ensure that everyone is well-taken care of during our mentoring sessions, always asking if you are okay or not and sorting you out if you’re not. Making you feel better. Disciplinarians, who quickly rebuke any foul play or offensive language; warriors with significant mental and physical strength and sincere supporters who are first to celebrate and congratulate a victory and a milestone that has been achieved.

To all the women that are the engine and moral fibre to what we do at Lebone, we thank you and take courage and strength from each of you.

Happy women’s day and women’s month to all phenomenal women out there!

#WeAreLebone

Historic women’s day picture on the slider, courtesy of Drum Magazine and additional reporting of facts from The Sunday Times.

Our four pillars – Learn

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Learning is an important part of life for all humans.

From a tender age to where we are in the life stage at the moment. We learn to talk, walk, write, behave – all pretty basic skills yet so critical to master. Still, not many can master it all without a little help and some practice. As we grow older, we learn new things as well.

We learn how to deal with peer pressure, manage our emotions, complex formulas and equations, solve  various problems, make friends and how to help around the house. We also learn how to draw up and stick to a budget, guard our peace and how to take good care of our health.

Learning is clearly a process, one that should be constant and consistent. Others prefer to say learning is a journey – one that never ends. We believe in learning as a gateway to success.

No one succeeds without learning something – be it a technical skill or qualification, developing a right attitude and outlook towards life or the desirable conduct to treat others on your journey towards the top. Learning is a journey, meaning it is on-going and it does not end.

American author, Brian Herbert is quoted to say: “The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice.”

At Lebone, we hold a strong work ethic towards learning in all that we do. We believe that learning is a choice, one that is encouraged and offered to everyone at Lebone. We also believe that learning goes both ways – I learn from you and you learn from me.

It is not always true that mentors must and should know it all, they depend as much on the mentees in executing their duties. Through this interaction, a lot of learning takes place!

We learn to work well as a team because we believe that each person on board is a vital component of the engine that drives Lebone. Learning must also be colourful; not dry and dull. A fun and safe space brings out the most in people and we try by all means to ensure that such a conducive environment is encouraged.

Learning does not only refer to academics and school work, it is a broader term that encompasses a holistic approach which address the often ignored soft skills that are as critical in the learning process. These include discipline, time management, memory and concentration skills and being able to co-operate with others as the learning process includes others. You need to learn from your tutors, mentors, teachers, parents, guardians and any other stakeholder that offers assistance. We are blessed to also have inspirational guests that offer their time and expertise to the organization on our sessions – it is important to also learn from them too.

In 2020, we also launched our academic support programme that runs on Saturdays between 9am and noon where our qualified tutors are on duty to cater for school subject requirements. Our lessons will go virtual in an attempt to adhere to the Covid-19 regulations in place.

Keep your sights on the website for updates and remember that there is no age limit to learning, so don’t stop learning!

Learn to grow, be a better human towards others and the world and to succeed.

 

Our four pillars – Serve

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American author Dr Eugene B. Habecker is quoted saying “The true leader serves. Serves people. Serves their best interests and in doing so, will not always be popular, may not always impress. But because true leaders are motivated by loving concern than a desire for personal glory, they are willing to pay the price.”

Kneeling down in front of those you lead is not a sign of weakness.

Using words like ‘Please‘ & ‘Thank you.’ does not make you any less of a leader.

Saying ‘I am sorry, I made a mistake‘ does not make one any less of a good leader.

For there is immense power in vulnerability, humility and honesty. At Lebone Rivoningo Developments, we believe in the ethos of serving. We are an organization rooted in the active and lively streets of the township community where the needs of the people are our most prized possession.

Our existence is for the benefit of our broader community with its many components that often inter-related.

People need to be heard, appreciated and their presence, always acknowledged. In the words of soul songstress, India Arie, in her latest body of work simply titled “Worthy” released in 2019,  “Everyone of us is worthy.”

Humanity and ubuntu dictates that we embody the values of human rights as enshrined by our constitution. Being human, means having a special kind of understanding and compassion for the multifaceted elements that make up personal development. The kind of compassion that listens, observes without judging, is open to change and has heart.

It’s is a special type of understanding that comes from a place of love. For we all know that all good things of the world, thrive when they are rooted from a foundation of love.

Our cups are so full that serving is one of the ways we show our commitment to the vision and bigger picture of the organization. To serve is in us. To serve makes us whole. To serve gives us meaning to what we do. And we do all of this, because we value what we do and we find pleasure in making a difference. We find pleasure in being at your service.

To all our mentors, who dedicate their time, efforts and at times, finances in order to ignite the fire that makes more magic at Lebone. We salute you.

To all our stakeholders that work consistently to lend support, care and guidance, where needed. We are thankful and encouraged by the partnership.

We are anchored to serve our community, a need epitomized so beautifully by our former president, the late Nelson Mandela when he said “A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of

We are here to serve.

We are here to help.

We are here for you.

#WeAreLebone

Our four pillars – Voice

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Voice is one of the tools we use to communicate with others. Voice enables us to be heard and our individual contributions to be noted.

We encourage both mentors and mentees to speak up and voice out any ideas or concerns that they may be having -it’s the one way the team can be able to assist.

In our pledge, we boldly say: “I have a voice.” because we believe that each and everyone who is part of Lebone has a say in determining the course of their future. They have a say in where the organization is headed. We all have a say in what needs to be done to ensure that personal development goals are achieved.

We use voice to interact with one another, to constructively engage, to gain knowledge, to enquire and to also listen to others.

Our voices are powerful tools we need to use in order to be heard. We encourage and facilitate healthy conversations on various issues affecting young people at all our sessions. In doing so, we promote a two-way dialogue that seeks to promote real-time interactions and feedback to our various themes as we gauge and assess the state of our mentors and mentees throughout the process.

Use your voice to build, motivate and support and not to harm, ridicule and undermine others. The manner in which you use voice is an important tool towards showing respect and care to others.

At Lebone Rivoningo Developments, we pride ourselves in ensuring that we create a comfortable and safe space for everyone to belong.

Our four pillars – Play

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At Lebone Rivoningo Developments, we make use of the four pillars of education as part of the core functions in executing our duties.

Play is one such pillar, and it’s one of the most popular pillars we make good use of.

Playing is a fundamental principle and skill that has psychological benefits towards learning and the overall well-being being and development of a young human being. It’s one of the popular pillars, I must add where mentors and mentees team up to step up to a creative challenge.

The Play pillar enables us to be innovative in conceptualizing our games so that we can enhance the thinking capacity to be able to think outside of the box. We get flexy, active, down and dirty, all in the name of healthy fun. We laugh, cry and cheer, all in the hope of boosting morale and showing camaraderie.

There is always a lesson and skill to learn from all our games.

30 seconds helps us think on our feet and be resourceful in coming up with good descriptions for words. It also teaches team work ethics.

Other games include, the one pictured, where the mentees were split into two teams and had to move marbles using sticks and not their direct fingers on the marbles, from one bowl to the next. This game requires exceptional balance and hand-eye co-ordination skills.

We had an exciting session play session indeed.

At Lebone Rivoningo Developments, we always learn and play together.

The people behind all the magic

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It’s often said how in most organizations, that it’s the people who are part and parcel of it that are the biggest assets.

Well, at Lebone Rivoningo Developments, it’s a mantra we enshrine and completely believe in.

As we abide by the lockdown measures put in place, let us take the time to acknowledge and celebrate the many lively, active and passionate souls that are behind all the magic at Lebone.

Yes, our super stars – that make all the magic happen!

Thabang – you’re our engine and that’s a given!

Diketso – you’re a tech genius!

Dineo – we’re always on the move with you by our side.

Khanyi – you’re a classic visionary!

Mikateko – your calm personality is unique.

Thembisile – your culinary skills are exceptional.

Kamo – your energy and youthfulness are contagious!

Koketso – your inputs are always profound.

Nomhle – we’ve got a disciplinarian in you

Motlatso – you’re an incredible all-rounder of note!

Tiani – you’re an entrepreneurial Goddess!

Snenhlanhla – we’re financially savvy because of you.

Talent – you’re one of a kind

Kerry – your tenacity is unmatched!

Modjadji – We are all because of you!

To all our stakeholders, who remain committed to the vision by supporting and encouraging us – we are grateful.

We celebrate all our leaders for the commitment and passion towards the organization. We look forward to more engagements and fruitful relations with each of you. Continue to be the light and ignite that spark in our communities!

Lebone Rivoningo Developments takes pride in its team, which is filled with incredible and dynamic leaders from all walks of life.

A new normal for Lebone

Our new normal
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Our hall is vacant. Chairs that would normally be packed to capacity are now unoccupied.

Our electric monthly impact sessions have been dealt a huge blow.

Our hearts may also be empty as well with the Covid-19 pandemic that is gripping the entire world – gripping our world too.

As Lebone Rivoningo Developments, we remain committed and are in full support of the various measures as put forth by the national government under the guidance of the World Health Organization to help flatten the curve of infections. We continue to remind all mentees and mentors to be exemplary citizens who wear a mask whenever they are in public spaces, wash hands frequently and daily with soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizers, practice social distancing and acceptable coughing and sneezing etiquettes to promote a healthy lifestyle.

These measures are part of our new normal.

We have also had to limit the amount of contact meetings and sessions that are usually held.

We are hard at work to map out a strategy for our way-forward with regards to how our work will have to be refined going forward. We also remain committed to the spirit of humanity during this time with the various interventions we have had to implement to assist our mentors and mentees cope during this difficult time.

As the famous adapted saying by American televangelist Dr Robert H. Schuller goes – the tough times will never last, it is the tough people that will. We are optimistic in adapting to the new normal as we aim to come out of this pandemic more stronger, united, healthier and determined to continue making a difference in our community.

Keep safe and watch the social media spaces for all our updates.

#WeAreLebone