BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State University’s Macki Snyder, assistant director for community service for Appalachian and the Community Together (ACT), will travel to South Africa in April to celebrate the launch of Ndinephupha Youth Talks — a program that encourages youth to express their dreams for society through public speaking.
Snyder will join Xolisa Ngubelanga, who initiated the program through Nelson Mandela University (NMU) in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, after attending the Mandela Washington Fellowship Leadership Institute at Appalachian in 2018.
Ngubelanga and Snyder are one set of several peer collaborators from the Leadership Institutes who maintained their relationships after the program and are partnering on programs to create a positive impact in African communities.
“Ndinephupha translates to English as ‘I have a dream’ — the phrase that civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. used repeatedly in his speech that he made on Aug. 28, 1963, advocating for an American society that he would want to be a part of as a citizen. Taking the lead from civil leaders like Dr. King, we must keep the dream and teach future generations how to dream of a better society and world,” Ngubelanga said.
Ngubelanga is the co-founder and director of the organization Jo Kinda – People, which seeks to improve the learning culture in township schools. He is focusing on building a high school public speaking network in which students can come together and share ideas.
Through Ndinephupha Youth Talks, students are mentored on how to write and deliver a speech, then present their talks to a public audience. The most actionable ideas will then be implemented through Jo Kinda – People.
Ngubelanga said through the program he and Snyder hope to create a network of young people from the Appalachian and NMU communities and encourage them to see the world they live in as a global village with global problems and global solutions.
While at Appalachian, Ngubelanga said he was impressed with the university’s ACT initiative and the idea of having a formal office to facilitate student engagement with the community. When he returned home, he began working through Jo Kinda – People and NMU to duplicate ACT’s programming.
During her trip to Port Elizabeth — which is funded by the U.S. Embassy in South Africa — Snyder will share best practices for community engagement from ACT’s activities in workshops with student facilitators in the Ndinephupha Youth Talks program.
“Through the program, young people can express their dreams — then work with community partners to achieve some of those dreams,” Ngubelanga said.
The Mandela Washington Fellowship is a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. government and administered by IREX. Appalachian is a sub-grantee of IREX and through its Office of International Education and Development has implemented U.S.-based Leadership Institutes as a part of the Fellowship since 2016. For more information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship, visit the Fellowship’s website at www.mandelawashingtonfellowship.org.
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About the Office of International Education and Development
The OIED is responsible for spearheading the internationalization efforts at Appalachian. The internationalization mission of Appalachian is to develop awareness, knowledge, appreciation and respect of cultural differences in both domestic and international contexts in its students, faculty, staff and the surrounding communities. The university is also dedicated to creating a campus environment that builds the theoretical and practical skills needed to interact effectively in a global society. Learn more at https://international.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian and the Community Together (ACT)
Appalachian and the Community Together (ACT) provides service experiences as opportunities to connect and engage with others to build authentic relationships, stimulate critical thinking and skill building, and recognize individual impact and responsibility to the local and global community. Between the 2004–05 and 2018–19 academic years, nearly $25.5 million of value has been contributed to the community via Appalachian State University’s Appalachian and the Community Together (ACT) program (over 1.91 million hours of service plus $781,419 in funds raised) using the $25.43 per hour national standard for volunteer time. ACT partners with over 160 local nonprofits. Initiatives include blood drives, hunger and homeless awareness events, fundraising for local charities and alternative service experiences. Learn more at https://act.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.