“…Dialogue wasn’t just about deepening understanding – but was part of making a difference in the world. Dialogue in itself is a co-operative activity involving respect. The process is important and can be seen as enhancing community and building social capital and to leading us to act in ways that make for justice and human flourishing…”– Paulo Freire
Bearing the fact that the final stages towards a democratic dispensation where executed through dialogue, South Africa should hold this practice very close to its identity.
SOMAFCO Dialogues is a program of the SOMAFCO Trust aimed at facilitating debate on issues of education and youth development with the aim of sharing common challenges and ideas. The ultimate objective is social cohesion.
The dialogues are at aimed at reinforcing the prioritization of education by getting stakeholders to rally behind common causes and exploring practical means of how they can redouble their existent progressive efforts. They are also aimed at improving beneficial outcomes by facilitating interactions with education stakeholders from students, teachers and the community at large.
Overall objectives of the dialogues
The SOMAFCO Trust Dialogues should achieve the following, in the short and long term within South African communities:
- They will provide a platform of mass learning that offers a chance of cultivating a paradigm shift in the way education is perceived by both communities and learners as a whole. One of the key aims is to emphasize the importance of obtaining excellence even with limited resources.
- Promote the principles and values of SOMAFCO and create a movement of custodians of the heritage of SOMAFCO i.e to prioritize & entrench the values of education but also the associated principles of self-reliance, sacrifice and hard work.
- To mobilize youth around education and keeping them in conversation through activities that they undertake through the dialogues and other joint commitments that they make during dialogues. Youth must be made fully aware that in the final analysis, they individually and collectively are most responsible for the outcomes they seek in education.