Port Elizabeth, 10 November 2017 — Four students from Nelson Mandela University’s (NMU) School of Language, Media and Communication were selected to participate and represent South Africa at the International Youth Organization Forum & Beijing Youth Camp from 25 to 31 October in Beijing, China.
Earlier in October 2017, the students were appointed by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and BAIC South Africa for a one year graduate internship programme in the stakeholder communications and community relations department of BAIC SA in Port Elizabeth. The four students emerged the top of their game following rigorous assessment and screening for the workplace learning programme, which is kicking off on a high note through a 10 day international trip in the first month of the internship.
“The aim of the youth forum and youth camp was to enhance communication, co-operation and friendship among international youth organisations, particularly South Africa and China. The invitation was extended by the Beijing Youth Federation, convener of the forum and youth camp. It provided a platform for knowledge exchange and future cooperation,” said Gary Yang, BAIC SA head of marketing and product planning.
Yang noted that BAIC is committed to youth development and committed to ensuring that the developmental imprint of the BAIC SA investment in Nelson Mandela Bay has “a rippling and multiplier effect into communities, including youth and student communities.”
At the forum and youth camp, the Nelson Mandela Bay student delegation presented to attendees on youth and technology in South Africa. The main focal point of their dissertation was, the aftermath of technology into the South African education system.
Sharnadé Mc Kerry (22), who is studying towards a BA Honours in media studies, said her experience in China was amazing. “I learned a lot about Chinese culture and the vast cultures of the 35 countries who attended the International Youth Forum and Beijing Sister City Camp,” said Mc Kerry.
Mc Kerry said that, “the highlight of the trip was exchanging cultures and knowledge, which helped debunk stereotypes and allowed me to form my own opinions and I made memories that would last a life time and formed friendships with people from different parts of the world. “I cannot thank BAIC SA enough for granting me this once in a life time opportunity. I will forever be grateful”.
The student delegation also comprised of BA Honours students Sanda Nodada (28) and Lyndsay van der Berg (23), as well as Caneth Mojapelo (28) who is studying towards a Masters degree in media studies. The students agree that the opportunity to attend a forum in a foreign country comes, but once in a life time.
“I have always wanted to go to China and it felt like Christmas had come early for me,” said Nodada. “I was very intrigued by meeting new people, experiencing the culture and seeing interesting places. Most of all I learned a lot about the work done by BAIC and understanding the company’s current and future plans. Visiting the BAIC headquarters was the highlight of the tour for me,” he said.
For Mojapelo, the opportunity to travel overseas was overwhelming. “I always had ambitions [to travel abroad] but never believed it could transpire promptly. We have been exposed to an expeditious advanced technology in the field of automobile and machines.”
“The experience of engaging with youth from different countries will not only equip me with knowledge, but being part of this forum will contribute a lot in our lives and bring hope to those young South Africans out there who are walking our path. Indeed, this is an opportunity worthwhile, which will make us better people than we are today,” Mojapelo said.