Sollom Mahlangu, Director, Bokamoso Youth Centre
Currently the Director of the Bokamoso Youth Centre, co-founder Solomon Mahlangu (Solly) grew up in Winterveldt, the son of a tribal leader and traditional healer. As a recognized community organizer in his own right, Solly worked as a mediator with the Simunye Peace Organization.
Because of his role as a community organizer, Solly was approached by Mary Anne and Steve Carpenter, in the late 1990’s, to help found a program to address the desperate needs of youth in Winterveldt. The Carpenters observed there was nowhere for young people to go for self improvement in Winterveldt and few productive ways to spend their time. Solly heard their call to action and joined their work to create the Bokamoso Centre.
In 1998, Solly went for training at Phandulwazi, a youth center in Eastern Cape Province. In 1999, he helped the Carpenters establish the Bokamoso Centre with financial support from Tumelong, a program of the South African Episcopal Church. Solly was initially the Director of Community Outreach.
In 2000, Solly became a Youth Care Worker and was certified by the National Association of Child Care Workers after a one-year course in Johannesburg. He continued his education in 2004 through an on-line course at the University of South Africa entitled “Skills in a People-Centered Approach”. Solly was selected as a Social Justice Intern in 2006-2007 at Pendle Hill Peace Education Center near Philadelphia.
In February of 2008, Solly became the Centre’s Director. He initiated, and successfully completed, the process for the Centre to be registered in South Africa as an NGO. Solly is working towards a degree in Social Work and Community Organizing at the University of South Africa.