PLETTENBERG BAY NEWS - A Plettenberg Bay teenager is "changing the world" through caring for the underdogs, the outcasts and the beaten, an endeavour that has now been rewarded by being selected to take part in a simulation of an actual United Nations conference.
The Bali Asia International Model United Nations (BAIMUN) conference as it is called, tasks participants such as Sinovuyo Kitsi with solving a global issue through research, drafting, lobbying and debate to pass a suitable "resolution".
The purpose of the event is to provide major networking opportunities to youth from around the world; encourage critical thinking; finding solutions to complex problems; practising diplomacy; developing leadership skills; and growing public speaking.
While the age criterion for selection is 17, organisers of this second edition of the event that will take place in January next year in Bali, made an exception for Sinovuyo as they saw her potential.
Not only does Sinovuyo, who attends Knysna High School, run the Bitou Youth Pioneers – a non-profit organisation which provides support to local youngsters, she is a voice for those who do not have voices. She even organised a recent local anti-gender-based violence march which attracted hundreds of participants. "I've always seen myself as a leader and my biggest dream is to help people on a big scale," Sinovuyo said.
She said it all started in primary school when a young boy was bullied after his father was accused of corruption. "Everyone was making fun of him and I decided to stand up for him."
By the end of primary school she received an award for the most likely person to become a human rights activist.
Her very proud mother Vuyokazi Kitsi said her daughter's caring nature continued in high school. "She once noticed a young girl who sat alone – she was isolated and did not have any friends. Sinovuyo approached her and struck up a conversation. It turned out that the young girl had been gang raped. Sinovuyo provided her with the support she needed through the court process and beyond."
Sinovuyo said to be able to participate in the BAIMUN is a "huge achievement" for her. "It is my dream to learn and to bring back what I've learned to share it with others." The theme for the January 2020 conference is "The Evolving of Cultural and Environmental Awareness for a Brighter Future" and more than 1 500 participants have been selected to take part. Its first session in Indonesia in March this year brought together 422 youngsters, out of about 18 000 registrants, from 44 countries around the world.
The teen said her drive comes from her mother who has taught her to never back down, even when things don't go her way.
Vuyokazi said she is very impressed with Sinovuyo as all the work she does involves hours of research. "She will convince you through statistics," she said.
The mother added that while they are ecstatic about the BAIMUN selection, they would need support to make it a reality as "other than support and encouragement, I don't have much".
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