Text and photo: Hanne Eide Andersen
The Kavli Trust has decided to increase their support for Tore’s Foundation, with a total of NOK 2.5 million for 2018 and 2019.
The funds will be used to further develop the foundation’s work towards strengthening democracy through education and training for South African youth.
“That the Kavli Trust has decided to support us with a sum this generous is amazing,” says Robert Eikeland, board member of Tore’s Foundation.
“This support ensures the continuation of the project in South Africa, and it’s a great honour for us to receive this funding from a trust with the Kavli Trust’s reputation. We are very pleased to have them as one of our supporters,” says Robert Eikeland.
He commends the foundation’s passionate and skilled colleagues in South Africa.
“This is also an important grant for them; they have dedicated a lot of time and effort along the way, and it shows. The board of the foundation are very happy to know that we have such a skilled and passionate group of people running the project in South Africa,” says Robert Eikeland.
Amanda Slowe, board member of Tore’s Foundation, says that the employees in South Africa and the board members in Norway were all thrilled to hear about this new partnership.
“To have the Kavli Trust’s endorsement and support, and to know that they believe in the work we are doing and are willing to back us, is a huge affirmation for our charity at this early stage. We all feel enormously fortunate to have forged this link with the Kavli Trust at such a critical time in the development of our work,” says Amanda Slowe.
A successful pilot
The funds will go towards developing and expanding the small but successful 2017 pilot program that Tore’s Foundation has been running in Cape Town’s Lavender Hill and surrounding areas.
Lavender Hill is a so-called township, a common name for segregated, poor and under-developed neighbourhoods which originated during the apartheid regime. In this pilot, Tore’s Foundation has given high school youth in the area courses in political debating, and training in political and democratic work.
Training in debating and political work
“The support we will now be receiving from the Kavli Trust will enable us to expand our work to other townships in and around Cape Town. More schools will be included in the program, ensuring that many more students of high school age will be given the opportunity and encouragement to participate in democratic politics in South Africa,” says Amanda Slowe, board member of Tore’s Foundation.
They are working from the belief that giving youth better debating skills, and giving them access to courses and training, will motivate them to continue with school
Some of the funds from the Kavli Trust will therefore go to a scholarship program for selected university students, as well as small grants to youth studying journalism, human rights or other studies relevant for democratic work.
“The support from the Kavli Trust will enable us to build this charity and improve our reach in ways we only dreamed of a few months ago. The Kavli Trust has provided us with the most wonderful opportunity,” says Amanda Slowe.
“Now, we will be able to reach more schools, and help students understand democracy and put democratic principles into practice. We want to help them become citizens who are meaningfully engaged in their community’s development,” says Bhongolwethu Sonti, employee in Tore’s Foundation in South Africa.
“We are excited by this opportunity but also understand it will come with more work and that we need to put more time into enhancing our methods of teaching & training. We believe this partnership with the Kavli Trust will enable Tore’s Foundation to realise our vision in South Africa,” says Bhongolwethu Sonti.
Thinking outside the box
“The Tore’s Foundation program has helped us become more confident when speaking up about issues and helped us look at issues in our school in a way we never have before,” says Raudia Campbell, student at Sibelius High School and participant in the program that Tore’s Foundation is running at the school.
“We hope to continue to participate in the program. It has helped us grow our skills in debating and we have become more confident speaking in front of crowds, and better at thinking outside the box,” she says.
A profound effect
“We are very excited about this opportunity to contribute to Tore’s Foundation’s important work with youth in South Africa,” says Inger Elise Iversen, general manager at the Kavli Trust.
She visited the pilot program in South Africa just before Christmas and was very impressed with the people working in the program and the youth participating.
“We met strong, amazing youth with a passion for democratic politics and for helping build their local communities,” she says.
“They have all grown up in the townships, and are still living there, in very difficult circumstances. During debate training, many experience, for the first time in their lives, being seen and heard, that they are allowed to contribute and that they are treated as resources,” says Iversen.
She emphasizes that participation in the program offers more than education.
“It builds confidence, their belief in democracy, and teaches them to see political work as the key to creating social change. Succeeding in empowering young people and enabling them to build a future on this foundation is critical at a time of political unrest and great social challenges in South Africa,” says Inger Elise Iversen.