26 June 2012
The Kaleidoscope Youth Network hosts first Regional Lekgotla in Durban, in partnership with Durban University of Technology
Written by Tish White – National Vice Convenor
The Kaleidoscope Youth Network is a body of student solidarity organisations for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Asexual (LGBTIA) students in places of tertiary education across South Africa. The 17 member organisations include regions ranging from Fort Hare, Stellenbosch, Mafikeng and Bloemfontein to Pietermaritzburg.
The mission of the Kaleidoscope Youth Network is to promote health and wellness amongst youth, empower future leaders and eradicate hate crimes. The Network is run by two core teams – an auxiliary and executive team – which oversee operations across South Africa. The entire Network meets annually for a national AGM (known as a lekgotla), where policy, strategy and documentation is discussed, and training done. The Network has seen a growing need for capacity-building, networking and training at a regional level across South Africa, and has addressed this through the launch of the regional lekgotla project. In partnership with hosting universities, the executive and auxiliary team will travel across South Africa giving training and guidance specific to the organisations they visit.
There are two student organisations in KZN that cater for LGBTIA students – Shadows in the Rainbow (based at Durban University of Technology) and MOVE (UKZN, Pietermaritzburg), though the LGBTI NGOs in the KZN region, such as the Gay and Lesbian Network in PMB cater for youth issues too. Both MOVE and Shadows in the Rainbow are fairly new organisations that have very promising futures. Shadows in the Rainbow took up the call to host a regional lekgotla in 2012, in partnership with the institute at which they are based - Durban University of Technology. DUT will be hosting delegates from UKZN and DUT, as well as some members of the Kaleidoscope Youth Network management team. The group will follow an intensive programme which includes training in campaign building, networking strategies, partnership project work with regional LGBTIA initiatives and problem-solving strategising for any issues the two societies might face. The group will also be partaking in the Durban Pride 2012 march, and will be at a stall to answer any questions Pride-goers might have regarding the Network operations. It is the hope of the Network leadership that the KZN student societies will take the skills taught at this regional lekgotla and implement them in their work.
Should you have any queries about the lekgotla, please contact the Network