Bertolt Daems, the world president of the Junior Chamber International (JCI), was hosted by Brand South Africa today, on his first visit to the country. Daems is in South Africa to engage young active citizens in creating sustainable positive change in society.
Daems, who will be in the country until 3 November, arrived at the Brand South Africa head office in Houghton to a warm welcome from the organisation's director of stakeholder relations, Iggy Sathege. JCI South Africa is a non-profit organisation affiliated to the international body, a worldwide community of young active citizens between the ages of 18 and 40 who believe that to create positive change, people must improve themselves and the world around them.
With more than 200 000 active JCI members and millions of JCI alumni, such as former president FW de Klerk and Kofi Annan, the former United Nations secretary-general, the organisation leads projects in the areas of individual, business, community and international development in over 100 countries.
During Daems visit, strategies will also be mapped out for empowering young people by improving their lives and those of the people in their immediate communities, irrespective of the adversities they face. Brand South Africa will be partnering with the JCI to encourage active citizens, such as those on the group's Play Your Part website.
Spearheaded by Brand South Africa, Play Your Part is a nationwide campaign created to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship in South Africa. It aims to lift the spirit of the nation by inspiring all South Africans to contribute to positive change, become involved and start doing – because a nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live is good for everyone, it says.
On 2 November, Daems will speak to youth and civil society organisations about issues that will help to create a change in the country. This event will also be hosted by Brand South Africa.
The involvement of young people in attaining the Millennium Development Goals will be discussed, as will the participation of South African youth in global initiatives such as the Malaria Nothing but Nets campaign and the United Nations' Global Compact. Programmes of JCI locally and internationally will also be promoted.
Rounding off his stay in the country, Daems will visit Soweto on 3 November.