MOT Courage2B International Conference – December 2010 “Empowering the youth with Courage”

The MOT programme focuses on the youth in South Africa and aims to improve the social environment and basic quality of life of young people, by teaching them vital life skills.

Life skills education includes the teaching of critical skills that contribute to overall success in life and aid in the establishment of a well-functioning society. The youth of South Africa requires sufficient guidance and support to make conscious life choices, to set goals and to develop to their full potential.

On 2 and 3 December 2010, MOT South Africa hosted the first MOT International Conference at Spier in the Western Cape. MOT South Africa brought together experts in the field of education, human development and behaviour and leaders personifying courage (MOT). The main purpose of the MOT Courage2B conference was to acknowledge, motivate and strengthen the educators for the critical role they play in the holistic development of the students in the Further Education and Training (FET) Colleges.

Some of the youth who has been part of the MOT programme had the opportunity to talk about their backgrounds and share their experiences on how the MOT programme has impacted their lives. They spoke about how the MOT programme has strengthened them and gave them the courage to say no to drugs, sex and negative group pressure, and gave them the courage to continue with their studies and to do their best at college.

The keynote speaker at the conference, Dr John Demartini, spoke on how to inspire others to live an extraordinary life. According to Dr Demartini, every young person has a dream and an aspiration to do something extraordinary. Our young people need role models and mentors to learn from, and to help them along the way. He focused on each person’s hierarchy of values and how ones highest values dictate your choices, inspiration and destiny. To live a life of inspiration, people need to set goals according to their highest values, and according to what is most meaningful and valuable to them. Dr Demartini spoke directly to each educator on how to uncover the genius present within each individual student and to encourage them to shine.

The conference delegates also had the opportunity to listen to the Norwegian founders of MOT. Rune Bratseth, the current chairperson of MOT Norway, reiterated that the dreams, ability and ambition, qualities that are needed to be successful, are present in both the South African and Norwegian youth. He used the metaphor that an empty house is easy to occupy, referring to youth who are not inspired, cared for and kept interested, could easily get involved with negative influences. Atlé Vårvik, the CEO of MOT Norway, pointed out the importance of a balance between the three values of MOT – courage to live, courage to care and the courage to say no.

Bheki Sibiya, CEO of the Chamber of Mines, gave a very inspiring talk on courageous leadership. He focused on South African examples of courageous leaders who were prepared to be unpopular to make the right choices and by doing so, changed the history of this country. Mr Sibiya also identified the many challenges in South Africa today that require courageous leadership.

According to Dr Shegs James, Senior Specialist Scientist at the South African Medical Research Council, effective interventions are needed to address the high levels of risk behaviour that the youth of South Africa are engaged in. Dr James led the 2nd National Youth Risk Behaviour Survey in 2008, a scientific research study on the sexual behaviour, violence, mental health, alcohol and other illegal substance use by learners between the ages of 14 and 17 years. Dr James also stressed that we need to strengthen the resilient behaviour, and reinforce the systems, which keep learners from risk behaviour.

During the conference, the brand ambassadors of MOT South Africa assisted the organisation in hosting the conference and awards ceremony. Natalie Becker, award-winning actress, media presenter and personality, was the Director of ceremonies together with Soli Philander, broadcaster, comedian, columnist and motivational speaker. Sasha-Lee Davids, 2009 Idols winner performed at the awards ceremony that took place on the evening of the conference. At the awards ceremony, the best Student Role Model in the FET Colleges, as well as the best MOT Presenter award winners were announced. Elize Erasmus, lecturer at Northlink College won the Best Presenter Award and Olwethu Penxa, student at Boland College, was the winner of the Best Student Role Model Award.

MOT South Africa also endeavors to introduce the MOT programme to Corporate South Africa, education departments in other provinces of South Africa and the public. This will increase the visibility of MOT in South Africa and create new opportunities to expand the MOT programme and its impact among the youth of South Africa.


  • Prof Eltie Links,
    Chairperson of MOT South Africa and Chairperson of AfriSam
  • Zozo Siyengo,
    Chief Director of FET Colleges in the Western Cape Education Department
  • Dr John Demartini,
    World renowned Human Behavioural Specialist, Educator and Internationally Published Author
  • Atle Vårvik,
    Co-founder of MOT and CEO of MOT Norway
  • Prof Bheki Sibiya,
    CEO of Chamber of Mines
  • Rune Bratseth,
    Co-founder of MOT and Chairperson of MOT Norway Board
  • Most Revd Dr Thabo Makgoba,
    Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town
  • Dr Shegs James,
    Senior Specialist Scientist at the South African Medical Research Council
  • Kjetil Siem
    Former CEO of the South African Premier Soccer Leag
  • Ric Amansure
    CSI Consultant of Metropolitan Health Group
  • Marcel Pretorius & MOT students
  • MOT Norway Programme Development Team
  • MOT South Africa Presenters


  • Natalie Becker,
    Award-winning actress, media presenter and personality & MOT South Africa Brand Ambassador
  • Soli Philander,
    Broadcaster and award-winning actor, television presenter, director, comedian, playwright, columnist and motivational speaker


  • Sasha-Lee Davids,
    2009 Idols winner & MOT South Africa Brand Ambassador
  • Askil Holm,
    Performing artist and MOT Norway Brand Ambassad


MOT South Africa Presenter of the Year & MOT South Africa Student Role Model of the Year


  • The impact of the MOT programme on the lives of the youth.
  • How to inspire others to live an extraordinary life.
  • Courage, Encouragement and Hope.
  • Three things to remember!
  • Youth Risk Behaviour Survey 2008.
  • The role of Corporates to bring about change in South Africa.
  • The latest MOT tools & exercises to use with students in class situations.
  • Knowledge sharing on MOT experiences & implementation.


Among the 350 delegates were 200 MOT presenters from South Africa, 100 MOT presenters from Norway, representatives from the Education Departments, School principals and teachers from Secondary schools, the Media, CEO’s and management of FET Colleges, Corporate sponsors and MOT South Africa Board members.


  • Key-note speakers; Dr John Demartini, Prof Bheki Sibiya, Most Rev Dr Thabo Makgoba and Dr Shegs James.
  • Recognising the best MOT presenters and student role models in the Western Cape during the Awards ceremony.
  • Sharing best practices among 250 local and 100 MOT Norway presenters and learning new MOT techniques from the Norwegian Programme Development Team.


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