Along with everything else that has been disrupted this year, the activities and programmes of the Johannesburg Junior City Council (JCC) have been much curtailed by the Covid-19 pandemic and resultant lockdown.
Kamogelo Mtobeni is Jeppe’s representative on that body and, he tells us, they have been working hard at carrying on with their contributions to community service, nonetheless.
“The JCC is a youth leadership programme with a community service component to it,” he explained. “There are two representatives from every high school that participates in the programme on the council and out of that an executive is elected. It is divided into different departments, shadowing what goes on in the actual city council, and they do service in those areas.”
Kamogelo was elected to the executive in the Sport and Recreation portfolio. “I was recommended for the JCC by one of Jeppe’s Junior Councillors from the year before and once selected, I was determined to make a contribution,” he said. Covid-19 then hit and the plans for the year were derailed.
“We carried on communicating with each other and discussing what we could do,” Kamogelo said. “Initially we designed and made posters aimed and raising awareness about the virus because we weren’t allowed to do anything else. When the restrictions were eased we decided to become involved in supplying essential items to people who are in desperate need of them.
“I personally decided it was too risky to go out into the communities ourselves, so we decided to partner with Community Angels, and organisation that was already busy with collecting and distributing food and other items. They have, so far handed out 34 000 packages to people in need.”
Through Community Angels Kamogelo and the JCC learned of a Shoprite initiative that allows donors to buy vouchers which can be redeemed for groceries and sanitary and toiletry items. “We mobilised to gather donations of vouchers which we hand over to Community Angels who redeem them and make up and distribute the packs. There is a food package and a sanitary pack. They cost R160 each.”
So far, Kamogelo’s efforts have led to supply essential packs for more than 300 people. “Our focus has been on using social media to encourage people to donate and we are also using our school communities to raise awareness,” he said. “We receive donations on a daily basis and we will carry on with the project until those dry up. Then we will look for another way to contribute.”
A great example of servant-leadership from a fine Jeppe young man. We are proud of Kamogelo.
● To contribute to this initiative, you can buy vouchers online from Computicket (search for Shoprite Virtual Voucher) and send its details to Jenna of the outreach programme at 063 453 3779