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The Desmond Tutu Centre for Leadership (C4L) has used Mentoring as its technique-of-choice.

Mentors from the C4L faculty coach individuals.  Another word we use a lot to describe what we do is "incubation" but this refers to organizations like NGOs, NPOs, CBO, and cooperatives - not individuals.  Most of this is done on an "outreach" basis.

This is sometimes in the context of "practicums" for youth registered in training (e.g. leanerships are 30% in lass and 70% on-the-job) or "aftercare" for youth who have completed accredited training programmes at C4L.

C4L is also set to launch an on-line mentoring service.  The Internet platform has already been built. Stay tuned for more on this!

Skills Development

C4L has both run and hosted various events for leaders and managers.  Its current offering of Unit Standards are listed on the Income Generation page of this website, because they are offered on a "Cost Recovery" basis, thus generating some revenue for C4L.

C4L has also produced training manuals and videos.  These make a distinction between Governance (i.e. Board leadership), Leadership and Management.  "Managers do things right; leaders do the right thing."

Advocacy Themes

Remembering that "Justice is what Love looks like in public"... the executives and Youth Corps of C4L "engage the powers" through Advocacy projects and other lobbying efforts, on the themes outlined below:

2016 - Horizons of Dignity

This new project is being launched in 2016.  Find out more about it here.

2016 - Abolitionism

This word has the right ring to it, because C4L - like the majority of opinion (including among Feminists) - regards Prostitution as exploitation that needs to be abolished.

Certainly this is a divisive issue - even among Feminists. But in some settings like Sweden, the number of prostitutes has been reduced by 50 percent in 10 years - by changing the way of dealing with the problem. Not by decriminalizing it, obviously. But by going after the men who pay, not the women being exploited. The vice is seen to rest with the exploiters more so than with the "sex slaves".

Neither does changing the vocabulary to "blessers" and "blessees" change what it really is! Prostitution is still illegal in South Africa. But under pressure from high levels of unemployment especially among youth and a vocal minority of Feminists, there is a slow drift in the direction of legalization.

Polygamy is legal in South Africa, but not Polyandry. (Even though adultery has been decriminalized.)

Decriminalizing prostitution makes absolutely no sense at the epicentre of the AIDS Pandemic. Which is where South Africa is located. Abolition is not a moral issue at all. It is a public health issue. The highest risk behaviour of them all is "multiple sexual partners".

C4L is proactively abolitionist, which is part and parcel of its HORIZONS OF DIGNITY project.

2012 - Constitutionalists vs Triumphalists

C4L has been observing a thematic divergence of opinion that is shaking the foundations of Democracy.

On the one hand you have the Triumphalists who charge ahead with agendas without regard for due process.  On the other hand you have the Constitutionalists who want performance to comply scupulously with the rule of law.

Some analysts rather call them Nationalists and Anti-nationalists, but C4L prefers the terms Triumphalists and Constitutionalists.  These terms are not partisan - all parties and levels of government have both.

The tension between these two is putting stress on non-racialism; it tends to exacerbate the racial fault lines that are always there in South Africa.

As in C4L's awareness raising about the Epiphany Murders in 2011, the purpose of C4L's advocacy is to reach youth with a message that Democracy will not run smoothly without the Rule of Law and Non-racialism.

2011 - Roots


The September long week-end celebrates our heritage.  In 2011, on Heritage Day, C4L welcomed many youth to celebrate their African heritage.

2011 - Epiphany Murders

Through research for the Childermas Letters (see below), C4L became aware of what it calls the "Epiphany Murders".  This because since 1998, every January, one or more key leaders have been eliminated - in each case for standing up against corruption.

The media is now referring to these as the "January murders".

C4L thus organizaed a poster campaign.  Only 2 months later, the national Minister of Police appointed a 12-person investigation team. 


2010 - Child Trafficking

In collaboration with the Human Rights League, several community interventions were run in 2010 by members of C4L's Youth Corps.

C4L linked with various other organizations around the time of the FIFA World Cup, to raise awareness about Child Trafficking as a prevention strategy.

This project was implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The project’s aims were to reduce child trafficking during the world cup in four communities, namely, Backdoor/Edwaleni, Kabokweni/Hlau-Hlau, KaMhlushwa and Matsulu. The core facilitators of this process were 34 out of school youths who serve as Kids Club Leaders in the 17 schools ear-marked for this project.  These 34 facilitators were trained at C4L’s campus in child trafficking issues, social mobilization and advocacy at a 2day workshop at project inception. They were also given information on how to help victims of child trafficking. These Kids Club Leaders also came up with tentative work plans on how they would sensitize their kidsclubs, schools, and communities. C4L was responsible for overall project delivery and monitoring through monitoring visits and monthly de-briefing meetings at C4L with the facilitators. 

2009 - Body Parts Trafficking

This project was implemented in partnership with Liga Mocambicana dos Direitos Humanos (LDH) of Mozambique. The main aim of the project was to raise awareness at community level, about the problem of trafficking of human body parts.  An important aspect of the project was community involvement. The project focused on working with communities towards a solution for reducing the supply and demand of body parts and it is essential that the behavior change comes from within the community. It is envisaged that the communities would take ownership of both the problem and the solution.  Four C4L youth leaders were the main facilitators of the programme in and around Ehlanzeni District. They organized community meetings, participated in community radio talk shows on the problem, and mobilised others sectors of the community to take part. This is the first project that has given C4L youth leaders a feel of civic activism.

We invite you to contact us to find out more about how C4L's leadership expertise can help your organization. Also, visit our Rolemodels blog for more musings on leadership.