Floors High School learners win Nationals with Self-Worth Campaign
With the high rates of depression and suicide among our youth, it is quite inspiring that a group of high school learners from Floors High School, Kimberley have decided to take on the social pandemic with an attempt to raise awareness on the crippling mental problem that so vastly affects many youngsters in society today.
Not only making a difference in their school, the group of six grade 10 learners consisting of Reece Herman, Caitlin Tricameral, Taslin Marthinus, Ceyzsar Limburg, Kurtley Japhta and Yaseen May, went on to compete in the Youth Citizens Action Programme (Y-CAP) schools’ national competition and came back victorious, boasting gold. “Y-CAP seeks to identify groups of leaners in a school who set out to find problems that they wish to overcome in their school environment. Y-CAP operates as an extra-mural activity and the kids take part in their own time. “The programme’s main focus is to teach learners how to be active citizens in not only their schools, but their communities at large,” explained mentor and maths teacher, Michael Luddick.
Competing against various schools on matters that need addressing in society, schools from all over the country presented challenges and solutions to problems like littering and cleanliness in schools but ultimately, it was the presentation of the psychological battles that children face and the devastating ways in which it affects them, presented by the Floors High team that won the judges over, “We realised that not a lot of people in our school have self-worth, so we decided to create an awareness campaign focused on promoting self-worth so that kids can start understanding and realising their self-worth,” said Limburg.
Extensive research was put into the campaign, where the kids sent out a total of 1400 questionnaires and surveys as a means of finding out how their peers and fellow learners saw themselves. It was the results they received that made them realise the problem they had at hand, “When asked about the support they receive from their parents, many learners said they did not receive support from their parents as many parents did not know them, or what they like.
They expressed that they could not talk to their parents about pressing matters in their lives, like their identity and that led to them developing feelings of anxiety which many of them dealt with through substance abuse. “Now we want to continue with the project and make sure that the kids stay motivated to move away from the bad and to continue focusing on the good,” elaborated Marthinus.
The kids walked away with prize money and a beautiful trophy to display in their school. They are now set on continuing their campaign so as to actively eradicate depression, substance abuse and replace that with feelings of confidence and helping learners realise their self-worth in primarily, their school and as many other schools as they can. “I wish to encourage learners going through hardships and facing peer pressure when it comes to substance abuse that it is much better to be an original version of yourself, than a copy of someone else”, encouraged Limburg.
Having faced their fair share of negative societal ills at the school, Floors High Principal, Peter Kok is especially proud of the group for the achievements they have come back with, “I am very proud of the kids and the teachers involved in this initiative. They have come a long way and have sacrificed a lot of their energy and time into this. To have accomplished this as novice teams, not even in their own category but in a much higher category, is a brilliant achievement. I have told them the trophy needs to stay here for next year”.
It is initiatives like these that we need to see more of. As in this instance, sometimes the best forms of communication for problems with the youth is direct peer-to-peer communication and interventions.