The picturesque town of Franschhoek was the setting for the grade 10 and 11 Allan Gray Orbis Foundation National Development Camp. This town is rooted in history and is a stone’s throw away from the Klein Drakenstein Prison, the iconic setting of Nelson Mandela’s release and the emergence of a new democracy. The place where the South African dream of an equal South Africa for all took flight.
The Foundation’s vision of an equitable South Africa is driven by our belief that a community of high impact responsible entrepreneurs will positively shape the economic, social and political landscape of our beloved country. We also know that this takes time and patience to bring to bear a transformed South Africa. It is in the hands of our beneficiaries to take up the challenge and it is our duty to empowering these bright sparks. However, this journey to empowerment is not a quick fix with short-term change but rather sustainable change and movement toward personal dignity and courage.
The Scholar Development Programme comprises of various interventions of which the National Development Camp is one. It is a pitstop in our Scholars’ journey toward growing themselves and their entrepreneurial mindset in preparation of the Fellowship opportunity. In his book, Seven Habit of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey say that personal victory leads to public victory and this means knowing yourself equals winning in the game of life. For this reason, one of the core foci of the Development programme is Personal Mastery. In support of this we hosted Personal Mastery sessions dealing with identity, choice and diversity which highlighted the challenges Scholars navigate daily. Scholars identified with diverse issues such as not fitting in and the fear of being different among other. These sessions also saw Scholars emboldened toward personal change and the roots of transformation evident in their reflection on the transformative power of the sessions.
One of the broader aims of the Foundation is to build a community of like-minded individuals who may affect future change. The Fellowship host Jamboree, a space where Candidate Fellows can grow their entrepreneurial muscle and pitch their ideas to a cohort of their peers. The Scholars were given the opportunity to be a part of Jamboree, gaining direct access to Candidate Fellows and Association members. Among the Candidate Fellows Scholars also met up with Scholar Alumni who had made the transition into the Fellowship programme. A handful of Scholars also took some time to pitch their ideas at the Jamboree.
Finally, the Scholars were taken on a journey that explored the concept of entrepreneurial mindsets. They were given scope to ideate, present, design and prototype a response to the challenges outlined in the National Development Plan (NDP). To give context to how young South Africans are addressing issues related to the NDP Scholar used Dadewethu, a social entrepreneurial business, who provides solutions for the lack of support for females at the university campus of UCT (University of Cape Town) as a live case study. Scholars then had an opportunity to experience bringing their ideas to life at the Maker-Space in Observatory, Cape Town giving them the opportunity to apply their understanding of entrepreneurial mindset in a live simulation.
There was a general sense that this Development Camp galvanised Scholars resolve to remain connected to the Foundation pipeline.