A Flourishing South Africa
South Africa is at a crossroads. There is widespread disillusionment and anger manifesting itself in violent attacks, in protests and illegal actions. There is frustration as the people believed that a democracy should have brought the dawn of economic prosperity, which would have led to eradication of poverty, increase in employment, delivery of basic services etc. There is apathy, constant complaining, blaming and finger pointing. Disillusionment is leading some to disengage and others to seek greener pastures elsewhere – a great loss for the South African Society which is currently not a well society. In spite of this, South Africa has many assets that can be put to productive use to set the country and its people on the path of Wellbeing.
The South African Global Wellbeing Lab team members are embarking on a program that they believe will contribute significantly to the promotion of Wellbeing in South Africa and maybe even Southern Africa.
Having seen the way Bhutan has moved beyond GDP, it is their firm belief that South Africa has the principle that if awakened and allowed to Flourish would set us on a path to Wellbeing. This is the Principle of UBUNTU – Botho, “I am human because you are human or because there are other humans who confirm and enhance my humanity”.
The team believes South Africa as a nation has forgotten how to live and engage with each other in a way that is informed and guided by Ubuntu. The question they are sitting with is this: What would our education system look like if we educated for Ubuntu? What about our leadership, businesses, health systems, and government?
Recognizing that some of these guiding principles are contained in South Africa’s Vision 2030, the group aims to revitalize and translate this vision into programs for action, in service of a “Flourishing South Africa”.
Now through November 2015, the team is working to create a school based pilot project to find and highlight everyday examples of Ubuntu to motivate ordinary South African to take example from these and to live and interact with each other guided by the principles of Ubuntu.
The plan is to conduct a pilot starting first in 67 Gauteng schools currently involved in the Partners for Possibility project supported by team member Louise. The age group will be limited to learners in grade 6 – 10 representing young South Africans whose future is at stake. The young people will be given assignments to go out into their communities and put the spotlight on examples of Ubuntu and come and share these with others using the media: TV, radio and print.