Amanda Valela

Community Youth Heroes

Nominee's Province:
Western Cape


Project Name/Description:
After-School Activities Programme

More info:

Amanda Valela, 34, chooses to use art as a tool for community development. She’s a programme manager of After-School Activities Programme, an initiative that uses dance, music and drama to teach youngsters in her community of Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape, valuable life skills. “The programme boosts their confidence, challenges their thinking skills and enhances the quality of their lives,” Valela says. “Their consistency is amazing. Learners start the programme from grade 3 until grade 12. They are very keen. They always want to learn something new.” She chose art as a vehicle of community development because it supplements traditional learning by “fostering engagement, self-expression and self-empowerment”. Her programme employs six facilitators who teach children after school. Valela has been engaged in community work since 2006 and is not planning to slow down any time soon. Developing others is in her blood. “It takes a village to raise a child,” she says. “If we can work together to develop, motivate, empower one another, we can definitely uplift our communities.”