Reflecting on MOT South Africa’s Impactful Journey in 2023

reflections on 2023 mot south africa

As we bid farewell to another year and embrace the opportunities that lie ahead, MOT South Africa expresses heartfelt gratitude to our supporters and friends for their unwavering love and encouragement throughout the past year. Your continued support has been instrumental in our success, and as we step into 2024, we extend our wishes for joy, good health, and abundant blessings to each one of you.

The year 2023 was a remarkable chapter in the MOT South Africa story, marked by achievements, growth, and meaningful collaborations that left a lasting impact on the lives of young people in our society. Join us as we take a closer look at some of the highlights and accomplishments that defined our journey.

MOT SA Courage to Care Global Project: Empowering Youth

The year kicked off with a feedback session with Odd Henning Johannessen, Past District Governor from Karmøy Rotary Club, for the MOT Courage to Care Global project. The project, which impacted three schools in the Grassy Park area, showcased the transformative power of the MOT program in teaching courage and care. The impact was nothing short of extraordinary, with students sharing testimonies of newfound courage and care. Stay tuned for the research results!

MOT Coaches’ Power-Up: Implementation Review and Refresher Workshop

MOT South Africa MOT Coaches Refresher Training to empower youth of South Africa

We hosted two Refresher Workshops in Cape Town, Western Cape and Burgersdorp, Eastern Cape to reenergize our MOT Coaches, providing them with best practices and tips to enhance their MOT sessions. Our MOT Coaches play a crucial role in motivating and strengthening youth, and nurturing future leaders in their classrooms and communities.

MOT SA Collaborates with JP21 Foundation for their Holiday Clinic

mot youth activity with jp21 foundation youth
Team building session

In April, we collaborated with our partner, JP21 Foundation on their Holiday Clinic in Mitchell’s Plain. The MOT sessions provided during the clinic focused on life skills engagement, covering themes such as team building, managing peer pressure, MOTivation, and anti-bullying. Fun fact, the JP21 Foundation was founded in 2015 by JP Duminy, a former South African cricketer who is also a proud MOT Brand Ambassador. 

MOT Coaches’ Basic Education: Investing in Educators for Youth Empowerment

St Michaels Hub

We successfully hosted and trained over 30 educators and community workers to become MOT Coaches. Our dedicated MOT Coaches now play a vital role in facilitating MOT sessions at their institution, contributing to the resilience, awareness, and courage of the youth. Are you P-YIS (Passionate, Youthful, Innovative, and Sincere)? Become a MOT Coach and join the league of extraordinary mentors! Drop us an email at and and we’ll discuss the next steps!

Acts of Courage Campaign

In June, we encouraged our MOT Youth to share acts of kindness and fearlessness videos through our Acts of Courage Campaign. We are proud of all the submissions received and how they’ve emphasized the impact of simple acts like smiling, being kind and being there for others, which reflects the core values of MOT. Watch more before:

Empowering Youth Through MOT Values at Western Cape Provincial Parliament

MOT and WCPP Western Cape Provincial Government Education Department
40 enthusiastic youth visiting the Western Cape Provincial Parliament from Potchefstroom

July brought the opportunity to lead 40 enthusiastic youth on a visit to the Western Cape Provincial Parliament, aligning with Mandela Month. The focus was on delving into the core values of MOT: Courage to Live, Courage to Care, and Courage to Say No.

It serves as a beacon of inspiration during Mandela Month. It empowered the 40 youth through the core values of MOT: Courage to Live, Courage to Care, and Courage to Say No. Through the values, they have not only learned the skills of listening, and setting boundaries and also practising self-care. Thank you, Western Cape Provincial Parliament for making this possible and for allowing us to create a warmer and safer society for all – our Vision!

Courage to Care Day Campaign: Making a Difference in Communities

mot youth from fairmount secondary school mot south africa wced
MOT Youth and MOT Coaches from Fairmount Secondary School

We successfully hosted Courage to Care Day Campaigns in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape – these were a success, thanks to YOUR generous support. The goal was to collect essential items for rural and farm school children. Your contributions made a direct impact on organizations like Chiastolite Community Builders Drop-In Centres, Kalksteenfontein Primary, Kids Rising Above Circumstances, and VCO/Happiness Haven DIC. MOT SA extends a heartfelt thanks to each contributor, partner, and supporter who played a crucial role in this campaign.

Building a Better Tomorrow: MOT SA’s First-Ever Career Expo

Country Director Viola Manuel at Zeekoevlei Secondary School Career Expo

As part of the Courage to Care Day Campaign, we rolled out our first-ever Career Expo for Grade 9 learners. Our inspirational speakers left a lasting impression on the students and equipped them with valuable insights and perspectives to navigate their future career choices. As these young minds embark on their educational and professional journeys, they carry with them the seeds of self-belief, authenticity, and the courage to shape their destinies.

Men Show Courage: Addressing Gender-Based Violence

men show courage

In September, we hosted our Men Show Courage campaign over two days, to raise awareness and educate over 100 young men about Gender-Based Violence (GBV). Sharing personal stories and having deep dialogues, this event aimed to create a generation of men who actively stand against GBV. With their newfound knowledge, these men are better equipped to challenge these issues and contribute to a warmer and safer society.

Celebrating 15 Years of MOT in South Africa

board members
From Left: Kubeshini Govendar, Atle Vårvik, Prof Eltie Links, Sigrun Vårvik, Julia Benjamin, Beryl Kerr Ferguson

A significant milestone was reached in 2023 – the 15th Birthday of MOT in South Africa! The MOT Enthusiasts’ Gathering celebrated the achievements of MOT, embodying the theme “Courage to Celebrate.” The event highlighted the resilience and progress made over the past 15 years.

Recognition and Awards presented at the MOT Enthusiasts’ Gathering

MOT is proud to recognize recognized outstanding individuals, our partnering High Schools and Community Organizations with Best Practice Awards and our prestigious Are Hovstad Award:


gardens commercial high
Are Hovstad Winner – Dylan Tommy with youth from Gardens Commercial High School

The Are Hovstad Award, which pays homage to Are Hovstad, a founding member of MOT in South Africa known for his dedication to empowering youth, was presented to Dylan Tommy, the principal of Gardens Commercial High School. This award recognized his outstanding commitment, inclusivity, and tireless efforts to support the youth and his community and for living the MOT Values and Principles in his daily life.

Melissa Richards, an educator and MOT Coordinator from Zeekoevlei Secondary School, was named the MOT Coach of the Year


Gardens Commercial High School received the MOT School of the Year award for its commitment to the MOT programme.

REcognition of Organisation
Three community organizations, Amy Foundation, Dreamspire, and Mbekweni Youth Centre, were honoured with the Recognition of MOT Organization award.

MOT Graduations: Nurturing Tomorrow’s Leaders

Amy Foundation graduates

The year witnessed the graduations of MOT youth from partnering institutions, including Zeekoveli Secondary School, Amy Foundation, Dreamspire, and Mbekweni Youth Centre. These graduations showcased the impact of MOT in equipping and empowering young minds with essential tools and skills.

Expanding Horizons: MOT Programme Beyond Borders

MOT at PE College
MOT SA Team with prospective MOT Coaches at PE College

With the support of DG Murray Trust (DGMT), MOT SA expanded its reach beyond the Western Cape and Eastern Cape and has now partnered with Port Elizabeth TVET College in Port Elizabeth, STADIO Higher Education in Johannesburg, and Umfolozi College in Durban. The expansion plan aligns with MOT’s commitment to making a tangible impact on communities across South Africa, promising a brighter future for youth from diverse backgrounds.

We ended the year on a high note, with our Best Practice Workshop. Our partnered high schools gathered which saw Gardens Commercial High School’s esteemed MOT Principal, Dylan Tommy who is also this year’s MOT Are Hovstad Award winner, take center stage, sharing valuable tips and tricks on how to implement and plan impactful MOT sessions effectively. His message resonated deeply: a Principal’s active involvement in the MOT journey injects invaluable support into the MOT programme which empowers both the MOT Coordinator and MOT Coaches.

In conclusion, 2023 was a year of growth, impact, and collaboration for MOT South Africa. The successes achieved and lessons learned have propelled us into the new year with a renewed commitment to empowering youth, creating positive change, and a warmer and safer society. Together, let us continue the journey of courage, care, and resilience in the service of our communities and the young minds we nurture. Here’s to a transformative and impactful 2024!

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