January 11, 2020
December 18, 2019
Learners who are part of the Bokamoso Cross Mentorship Programme gathered at the Nelson Mandela Foundation to share stories of their personal growth in the past year. (Images: Shamin Chibba)More than 50 participants of the Bokamoso Cross Mentorship Programme gathered at the Nelson Mandela Foundation for the initiative’s final event of the year, held on Saturday, 28 November.The gathering of mostly Grade 11 learners was meant to give them an opportunity to talk about the lessons they had learnt through participating in the programme over the past year.The schoolchildren took part in 10 workshops centred on its five pillars, namely: leadership; history, culture and heritage; personal development and wellness; academic excellence; and social responsibility, said Bokamoso’s founder, Tebogo Moalusi. Bokamoso founder, Tebogo Moalusi, said he is getting learners to become selfless servants to people of South Africa. For Moalusi, the programme attempts to prepare the pupils for the world after school. “We’re sending these kids out [into] the world and we want them to have a base in terms of being able to dig deep and understand what leadership truly is about.”This was also the reason the event was held at the Nelson Mandela Foundation. “We all know Mandela was a great figure as a leader and one of the most important figures on giving back to society broadly. So we came here to give them a context and a narrative that will allow them to find something within them once everything becomes a little bit difficult going forward.”Brand South Africa gave Bokamoso its vote of confidence by donating R750 000 to the initiative over the next three years. Brand South Africa’s manager of civil society, Thoko Modise (left), hands over one of three cheques to Bokamoso. Brand South Africa is donating an accumulated R750 000 to the group over the next three years.LEARNERS SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCESDineo, a learner from Johannesburg, said the visit to Constitution Hill, an event Bokamoso held earlier in the year, brought her closer to history. Learning about South Africa’s past touched her, she said. Fellow learner Cailtyn said the visit made her realise that we should not make the same mistakes twice.The highlight for Grade 11 learner Lebo was the time spent with the elderly. “We made them less grumpy,” she said.Others felt they had become empowered through Bokamoso and had grown emotionally. Bokamoso held its final event of the year at the Nelson Mandela Foundation so that learners could understand what leadership is all about. Moalusi co-founded Bokamoso in 2007 with four other members, all of whom felt tired about working in the corporate world without giving back to the community. “Corporate just swallows you up and you forget to play your part,” he said. “So [starting Bokamoso] was a yearning to be part of the solution.”Bokamoso’s track record was successful, said Moalusi. “We got great testimonies from learners who paid homage to the contribution Bokamoso had made. The first bunch of learners have gone through matric, they went to varsity and now they are getting their first jobs.”He hopes participants carry with them three important leadership traits after they leave Bokamoso: the will to serve, courage and passion. “If you’re not able to serve I don’t know how you would lead. A lot of people today are not courageous enough to make difficult decisions. You have to be brave enough to be unpopular but do things for the right reasons. And there is so much we can find that [is] negative and tell a difficult story, but passion and positivity is great fuel for leadership.” Watch Bokamoso’s 2014 finale video
December 16, 2019
More than 9 million square feet of New York City rooftops have been painted white in the last nine years in a long-term initiative to make occupants more comfortable and lower cooling costs. In addition to making city living more bearable in summer, the NYC CoolRoofs initiative also is intended to provide training for local job seekers who want experience in installing reflective roofing materials, the program’s website says. In 2009, the city began painting rooftops for free on buildings belonging to non-profits, affordable housing projects, schools, museums, and hospitals, according to Business Insider. The goal is to coat 1 million square feet of rooftop — roughly 23 acres — per year, but this year the program beat that by 50%.RELATED ARTICLESLos Angeles Lightens Streets in Bid to Stay CoolUrban Heat: Can White Roofs Help Cool World’s Warming Cities? Building owners who agree to cover the cost of the acrylic coating get labor, technical assistance, paint brushes, and rollers from CoolRoofs. The theory is that lighter rooftops reflect more heat than dark ones and reduce what’s called the urban heat island effect. The city estimates that installing a cool roof can reduce air conditioning costs by 10% to 30% on hot summer days. Greenhouse gas emissions also fall as energy use declines. The same thinking is behind an effort in Los Angeles to reduce urban temperatures, not by painting rooftops but by coating streets with a white sealer. A study published in 2014 found that replacing dark roof surfaces with light, reflective surfaces could reduce temperatures in cities like Washington, D.C., or New York by more than 3 degrees, an article posted by The New York Times said. But researchers also pointed to some potential cautions with reflective roofs. In Florida, for example, reflective roofs slightly lowered rainfall amounts, so the cooling effect wasn’t as pronounced. Reflective roofs can can lead to higher heating costs for roofs that aren’t snow-covered in the winter. An article posted at Untapped Cities says that the white acrylic paint used in New York goes on in two coats. The article cites a study by Columbia University’s Center for Climate Research that found white roofs were, on average, 43 degrees cooler than unpainted black roofs. The coating also helps prolong the life of the roof by decreasing thermal expansion. It costs Los Angeles $40,000 to coat a single mile of roadway with a product called CoolSeal. The CoolRoofs program doesn’t publish information about costs on its website, and a call to the program’s press office went unanswered.