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LEADERSHIP FABLES (article first published : 2008-02-10)

Education in South Africa is not without its challenges and the media reports daily on the struggles that teachers and learners face in schools throughout the country. In response to the looming educational crisis, French national Carole Podetti-Ngono founded the Valued Citizens initiative in April 2000 and has dedicated the past seven years to helping the Department of Education restore the values of citizenship in schools. In recognition of her efforts, Carole Podetti-Ngono was named a finalist in the Education category of the Shoprite Checkers Women of the Year 2007.

Renault South Africa has been helping to drive the Valued Citizens initiative from the outset and is a platinum sponsorship partner of this worthy educational programme which evolved from a mere pilot project with a few classrooms to a large organisation that, to date, has reached 1,385 public schools, 395,000 learners and 3,350 educators in the Free State, Limpopo and Gauteng provinces.

For the past four years, Valued Citizens has produced and published an art book developed by its learners. The latest in the series is Leadership Fables - featuring Golden Rules from Leaders for the Youth which was launched in December 2007.

The main purpose of Leadership Fables is to highlight the fact that, with the programme’s foundation and implementation of core values in education in time to come, young generations will take an ethical lead in the business world thus ensuring for the empowerment of people, economic growth and sustainable development. The innovative book focuses on constitutional values and the principles of citizenship.

It is based on the experiences and observations made by the learners following art workshops guided by their educators with training provided by renowned artists Isa Gesseau Schwartz, Bongi Bengu, Shui-Lyn White and Zapiro. Inspiring and colourful, the 84-pager combines poetry and magnificent works of art produced by learners from Grade 5 to 9.

Each of the 30 artworks is accompanied by a golden rule from acknowledged South African business leaders including Alan Knott-Craig, Dr John Tibane, Wendy Lucas-Bull, Hazel Gumede, Jay Naidoo, Wendy Luhabe, Nolita Fakude, Dr Vincent Maphai, Dr Con Fauconnier, Raymond Ackerman and Merwyn King.

Priced at R200, Leadership Fables is available for purchase through Valued Citizens Initiative on 011 403 7000.




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