Playing for good this Youth Day
Footage of the student’s experience, the Lego League event, and the day’s festivities.
To celebrate Youth Day and the powerful results of our partnership with Social Coding, our teams came together to plan and execute a Lego League Robotics event – which saw 20 learners from Segopotje secondary school showcasing the digital skills they have learned over the past year.
The learners and their Social Coding facilitators made their way to Johannesburg on Wednesday evening, where they came together with the Merchants team for a dinner to welcome them to the city ahead of the main event on Thursday. “It was such a joy to see their smiling faces as they took in their surroundings. They took photos of everything they saw, which was such an important reminder of the joy we can attain from life’s simplest pleasures,” says Mat Conn, Group CRO at Merchants.
Five Teams, All Winners
On Thursday, June 16th, the students, facilitators, Merchants coaches and a panel of judges came together at the Campus in Bryanston for the main event. The students were split into five teams – Blue, Yellow, Orange, Red and Green – and given a series of challenges for their robotic Lego structures, which they had built and programmed as a group.
“It was truly inspiring to see the learners working together and making use of the important digital skills that they have learned over the past year, through this partnership. At Merchants, people are at the heart of all we do, and our partnership with Thembiso and her team has been about making a difference in the lives of South Africans. This day gave everyone in the room the opportunity to see just how much of a difference this work has made,” says Conn. “There were some of South Africa’s future leaders in that room – I have no doubt about it.”
Social Coding founder, Thembiso Magajana, expressed her gratitude to all involved in making the event happen for these learners who are so close to her heart and the reason behind what she does. “Words of gratitude eludes me when I reflect on our amazing Youth Day event. Empowering South Africans with digital skills will be crucial to driving economic growth in the near future, that’s why we partner with organisations like Merchants, whose leadership are as passionate as we are about bridging the digital divide in rural communities and ensuring every learner has the chance to participate in the digital economy.”
Play For Good
The event, hosted in conjunction with Handson Tech, focused in on using the nature of play, for good. Students, mentors, and coaches were able to build strong connections, have fun and build amazing structures all while enjoying the nature of play.
“This event was truly a celebration of the remarkable young talent we house in South Africa. It is so important for organisations to play their part in building a better tomorrow for our country – starting with our youth,” says Merchants MD, Zain Patel.
Merchants would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all those involved from our team, Social Coding, Hands on Tech, and our partners and judges. Thank you for the role you play in helping us make a difference and build a better tomorrow.