An Educational Program Bridging The Gaps Between Young People In Different Countries

If you have ever wanted to take an educational, life-changing tour in another country, then this program might be up your alley.

Located in Tanzania, the SOMAFCO Educational Tour program aims to encourage young people across the world to take part in 10-day educational excursion in which they will learn about different historical sites that played a vital role in South Africa’s freedom to democracy.

Tlholohelo Mohlathe who helps direct the program said it’s free for students. “As part of preserving and promoting this heritage and utilizing it to empower young South Africans about their history, our organization organizes an essay writing competition which has a all expenses paid 10 tour to Tanzania as a prize,” he told RIZZARR.

The program is apart of SOMAFCO Trust, a non-governmental organization that focuses on youth development. The organization was created in remembrance of Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College, a school named after young anti-apartheid activist Solomon Mahlangu.

According to Mohlathe, students who participate are able to learn more about Africa’s development, cultural tolerance, community development and effective leadership skills. They also are able to develop life-long friends with other students from universities in Morogoro. “Our lessons over the past fives years in undertaking this program is that to young people, it’s an exciting incentive and opportunity to be part of an experiential learning program such as this one,” he told RIZZARR.

Mohlathe says more than 100 youth and young adults have not only been able to participate for free in the program, but they have also been able to interact and build friendships that can greatly help build the relationship between Tanzanians and South Africans. Additionally, more than a thousand leaders, guest speakers and teachers have offered their time to make the program successful.

Although in the program has been solely offered to South African and Tanzanian students, Mohlathe hopes to expand and include students from all across the world in the coming years. He especially hopes to include students from the Unites States since he feels that many historic moments, such as the Civil Rights Movement, have greatly contributed to the idea of democracy in South Africa. To find out more about the program and how you might be able to participate, read our interview with Mohlathe below.


1. Why did you want to become apart of SOMAFCO Educational Tour program?

We are alumni of the college. We grew up in Tanzania during the apartheid years when we and our parents had to flee South Africa. We therefore aim to share this South African history with other youth in South Africa, Tanzania, and beyond.

2. What are some of the challenges that you and your team have faced in getting this program going?

One of the challenges that we have faced is the traditional NGO challenge of funding and the attendant operational challenges exist for the organization. We have overcome these through persistence and continuously seeking out good Samaritans in the form of corporate entities and individuals to support our vision and mission.

3. How do you feel that these challenges have shaped you as a person and your ideas about how youth and young adults can change the world?

The challenges have brought home the message and lessons on:
– Hard work always pays off.
– Always look within for solutions ( being enterprising)
– Try to be resourceful and careful with limited resources while also not fearing risk-taking. I have found that consistency is also a very important lesson.

4. What has played a major role in the success of this initiative?

South African state institutions such as the Independent Development Trust, National Youth Development Agency and State Owned Company (Transnet), our government in general and its leaders have played an incredible supportive role in our development. We have also gained some traction in the private sector (with companies). We are looking to really grow in this area.

5. Why do you think more people should be aware of SOMAFCO Educational Tour program, and how do you think that it could change the world?

Through this particular program, we are keeping alive the the short and brief life of Solomon Mahlangu, whom President Jimmy Carter once pleaded for, as did many civil rights movement members, because they shared his convictions of a democratic world. As we do so, we commit ourselves to the same values. We are also keeping alive the legacy of an individual Oliver Tambo who upheld the highest principles and values of humanity and particularly cherished the right of all human beings to be free and specifically free to live out their destinies. And Mmst of all, we believe that people should be aware of this area because all its representation of humanity’s solidarity for a better world. A careful study of the history that bears within the SOMAFCO story has at its apex the story of the power and victory of humanity. These are timeless principles which can never overly reinforced and even the future will need.

6. What are you hoping that people will take away for your and your colleagues passion for this educational tour?

A commitment to actively make a contribution towards the ideals of a better humanity.

7. How you do plan to continue to use this initiative to change the world?

We hope to be able to share the program with more young people across the world as we are commencing to do now. We want more people to participate. We also hope to inspire young people to achieve their potential in terms of shaping a caring global society.

8. What advice would you give to anyone who trying to improve the world?

I would tell them to continue trying- always.

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