Hello there, we Free minds a Nonprofit organization that tackles youth related issues, free minds is an idea that came from the concept of Modern-day slavery, slavery but in modern times. one would say I am not a slave because I have no chains around me and nobody is forcing me to do things I don’t want to do, while that may be true I consider modern day slavery the same as mental slavery. At first slavery was when you were in chains and you were trapped, you couldn’t move freely. Now I say modern day slavery is when there’s a block in the mind and the way you think or your mindset. We create barriers because of the way we think, the mind has become the slave. Teenage pregnancy ,drug abuse,racism, bad choices ,failing to plan, falling into crime, limiting our possibilities, not believing in one another and feeling inferior, all these some of the examples of modern day slavery, and they are caused by mental blocks we create ourselves. Although I wouldn’t blame us because the way we are brought up plays a huge role in our character and personality. I grew up, believing that having materialistic things is what makes us human or wearing expensive clothing is what makes us human and I lived to meet those expectations, others believe that to feel good about yourself you have to bring others down or prove you are better than the rest, others believe that being African is a mark of shame hence you’ll see many Africans women buying Indian hair, others have lost their culture through the influence of western cultures and most of us believe that after getting our degrees, masters and PhDs we will be successful and we are overlooking the unemployment rate, now the real question is how can we use education to befit us when the unemployment rate is so high?
Free minds is organization for the youth by the youth. We believe that every issue in society is caused by the way we think, our experiences and the people we are exposed to, at free minds we use proven methods that help develop the way we think, preserve life and tackle our problems. An example would be how we tackle a common issue like crime, we don’t look at effect of the crime or how to punish the criminal but we look at the mentality of the criminal and what lead him/her to commit that crime, one of the biggest causes of crime we have identified is that in African communities African parents don’t support their kids in any of their endeavors if it is not education. We see education as the only key to success and thus if any African child fails at education they believe they have failed in life, what’s worse is that they won’t get any support or advice about other ways to attain success which makes it easier for them to fall into crime.
At free minds we give the youth a platform to exercise their talents, skills and interests that way if one fails at education which is very common in African communities, they will have an alternative. Another thing we do is educate those who have education but are unemployed on ways they can use education to add more value to themselves, in school they give us all this valuable information but we are not taught how to use this information, at free minds we believe that we shouldn’t just test students and learners to see if they know the information given but we should also test them to see if they can apply that information in real life situations.
In South African societies we value things that will not benefit us, and we are unaware of this because it is a mentality that developed over years. We value looking cool Infront of our friends more than going to library and reading a book and this mentality did not come over night, but it developed overtime the same way it can change over a period. Another thing we tend to value more is sex, kids grow up with the pressure of breaking their virginity faster than their friends which is one of the causes of gender-based violence, the high increasing population, STIs and teenage pregnancy. The key to a better south Africa lies in changing the way society thinks, at free minds we are looking to solve issues like Gender based violence, crime, teenage pregnancy, unemployment, depression, poverty and many more all by changing the way society thinks. we want to create an ecosystem of independent thinkers, critical thinkers, problem solvers, entrepreneurs and role models all around south Africa. We need to start looking at the cause of the disease not the symptom because if we remove the cause we solve the symptoms forever.
The first step to make this successful is by raising awareness and creating conversations about these issues. We will start by approaching the youth through social media and word of mouth, we have experienced digital marketers and a large social media following with that we already have a way in. After creating awareness, we will host weekly sessions where students and youth from all walks of life have conversations and debates about these issues affecting them, Updates on these conversations will be posted on our social media, blog and website. That way the change in mindset occurs naturally as they are exposed to a different environment. We will expand by hosting a series of events where the youth can showcase their skills and talents Infront of an audience were looking for poets, singers, artists, photographers, actors, dancers and many more. These events will get upcoming artists exposure to their market and potential sponsors.