South African Youth Fellows Cohort Announced

The Desmond Tutu Center is excited to announce that we have chosen our cohort of South African Youth Fellows for 2017-2018. The Fellows, whose ages range from 17 to 21, come from cities all over South Africa including Cape Town, Durban, Bela-Bela and Vryheid, and are interested in social justice topics ranging from women’s and youth empowerment to the environment and civil rights. The South African cohort will meet a few times as a group in South Africa before undertaking a study trip here to Indianapolis this July. During the Study Trip the Fellows will learn about the history and culture of the United States, including the history of important movements such as civil rights, abolition and women’s suffrage, as well as meet with local organizations focused on pursuing peace and social justice.

Edwin Arrison, our partner in Capetown, is organizing the South African Youth Fellows cohort’s first local meet-up and will be accompanying them on their study trip to Indianapolis. In the meantime, we are making arrangements for the new Fellows to travel to Indianapolis this July! To find out more about the Fellows and their passions for social justice you can view their individual profiles on our website.

On July 15th the public will have a chance to meet members from both the South African and Central Indiana cohorts, as the Central Indiana cohort presents the results of their social justice projects at their Project Symposium.

Our nine South African Youth Fellows are:

Cailynn Petersen- Cailynn is from Cape Town, South Africa. In high school she served as the School Secretary and currently serves as a Patrol Member for Green Light Neighbourhood Watch. She recognizes the socioeconomic problems in her community and hopes to have an impact on people in her community who have been involved with gangs and drugs. She wants to get young people involved in positive programs that help them develop skills, set up safe houses, hygiene programs and holiday programs.



Tracy Zama Khuzwayo- Tracy describes herself as an ecofeminist. She is from Durban, KZN and is the daughter of a domestic worker. She has seen many injustices in her community and she believes that she will be most effective in her community if she focuses specifically on her two passions, which are women’s empowerment and the environment.





Chandre Laura Cloete- Chandre is from Cape Town, Western Province, where she serves as director for a nonprofit that helps develop young leaders to be the change they want to see in their country. She is passionate about history and enjoys learning about historical figures and the role they played in shaping the present. She also understands that she can personally have a role in shaping what her country will look like in the future.




Chumisa Matiwane- Chumisa  is from Cape Town, Western Cape. She is involved in her community, coordinating after school programs where she mentors and tutors younger students. She is concerned about the growing number of women in South Africa who have been victims of sexual assault and how this has become commonplace. She wants to start a community project that would empower girls to take full ownership of their bodies and strip boys of their perceived entitlement.     




Kurt Hartley- Kurt is from Cape Town, Western Province. He has been involved in a community program called Lift Every Voice, which allows youth to learn about the history of civil rights in South Africa as well as the U.S. while becoming leaders in their community. He has also been involved in the youth intervention program at his church, helps those in his community by helping his mother run a soup kitchen from their home and is involved with helping people with disabilities through a program called Ti-Amo.





Asia Booysen- Asia is from Newlands East, KZN, Durban. She is 19 years old and has volunteered with Friends of the Newlands Library running reading rooms, educational programs and soup kitchens. Asia says, “It is important to empower yourself, grow yourself and surround yourself with positivity.” In addition to working with her local library, Asia works with her local branch of Speak Protect and Care for Animals (SPCA) and volunteers with her church as a sunday school teacher.




Loide Ndemueda- Loide is from Bela Bela, Limpopo. She is involved with an organization called Children of Fire, which helps people who have survived burn injuries. As a burn survivor herself, she has devoted her life to helping people in her community by visiting burn survivors in hospital and taking people to doctor appointments. She recognizes that there are many injustices in her community and believes that action speaks louder than words. Loide says, “Leadership is about action not passion.”



Siphesihle Precious Molefe- Siphesihle describes herself as a girl from a rural town with big dreams. She is from Vryheid, KZN and attends college at the Durban University of Technology where she is studying Radiotherapy. She dreams of being an entrepreneur and a philanthropist. She has helped change her community by organizing positive activities for youth which include a soccer tournament and beauty pageant.




Moegammad Ali Waggie- Moegammad currently attends the University of Cape Town. His main area of study is mathematics and he has been tutoring people in his community for a few years. Guided by his love for education, he one day hopes to start a tuition free life guidance program that would be open to all who want to improve their academic performance.


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