Bokang Mokoeng is the founder of Phakamani Young Minds Academy, which is registered as a non-profit organisation with a Public Benefit Status.
The organisation was established in February 2014 with the objective of empowering young people around Freedom Park with access to academic assistance. Bokang and his team provide services such as homework supervision, exam preparations, and extramural activities to enhance personal developments for all young people.
He says the support they were offering back then is exactly the type of support he received when he was struggling academically in high school. He was lucky enough to find a tutor and he realised soon thereafter that there were many people facing similar challenges – this understanding drove him to this line of work.
Today, PYMA has added many offerings to its portfolio, including the provision of mentorship and career guidance to young people throughout their schooling career and access to post-school opportunities for Grade 8-12 learners, leadership and employment opportunities as well as work readiness, skills and knowledge building for youths aged 18-25.
His organisation is currently in partnership with Ikamva Youth, which is one of the leading organisations in the education space in South Africa and, together, they have created job opportunities for young people while exposing them to diverse professionals. Many students from Freedom Park have received scholarships and are attending prestigious schools across South Africa.
His vision is for his organisation to help disadvantaged children and young people to become responsible, independent and prominent members of society through access to high-quality supplementary education and personal development programmes, provided within positive and inspiring learning spaces.
Bokang believes young people will play a vital role in addressing some of Africa’s challenges. In fact, he says they are already changing the status quo through lobbying and campaigning against corruption, holding African governments accountable.
His desire is to see the SADC community eradicating the high levels of unemployment, encouraging entrepreneurship as a means of achieving exactly that. He would like to see more young people contribute to policy change and policy implementation and believes the government sphere as a whole could use more young minds that think a bit differently.