grantees » Motene Olebogeng

Motene Olebogeng, South Africa

Known by her colleagues as “a disciplined person who follows through in the tasks she undertakes”, Olebogeng Motene is a young South African with an ambition to develop herself and improve her community. Olebogeng works at The Bench Marks Foundation. The Foundation monitors the practices of multinational corporations to ensure their respect for human rights and the environment. Here Olebogeng is a facilitator at the Rustenburg Community Monitors School. Her nominator is impressed with her work, where she has showed “the ability to recruit a group of young activists and to motivate them to become regular participants and to constitute a study and action group.”

Olebogeng wants to develop her career as an environmental and community activist with skills in research and social media for advocacy and organizing. She used her JWH Initiative grant to follow a “core skills training course” and a “methods course” at the University of Witwatersrand in cooperation with the Bench Marks Foundation. The first course taught her the basics of writing short and powerful articles and the tools to develop her reading skills. Olebogeng also took workshops on digital mapping and social media. The second course taught her the basic skills in researching and reporting on community and environmental problems. She had further training in website management and video editing.

Finally, Olebogeng applied her newfound knowledge into a field project where she reported on the way in which the “Styldrift” mining project affected the lives of farming families in the village of Chaneng. Her research has put into perspective the environmental impact of the mining project and the harm it has caused to the inhabitants of Chaneng. Also noticeable are her improved writing and research skills which, in combination with her ambitious attitude have surely made her the environmental leader she has aspired to become.

Nominated by

John Capal:  Bench Marks Foundation:  South Africa.