Growing up as a South African of Indian descent , I quickly adapted to the general way off my culture , with regards to traditions and religion . However at a very young age my parents decided to make a move from the quite life to the big city of Durban in hope of new opportunities . It was at this point that I was truly able to understand the vast number of cultures that existed outside of my own as well as the fact that people in general were different to me and my family in many ways and this lead me to appreciate and understand why diversity was so important .
With having 11 official 1st languages and a diverse mixture of people coming from a variety of social and family backgrounds who all have their own opinions as to how our democracy should function can be a little confusing at times , but its what makes South Africa so unique and well known .
As much as we experience these great aspects of diversity , we as South Africa are still in our infancy of Democracy and are recovering from the past wrongs committed during the Apartheid era and sadly no matter how hard we try , we still feel the effects of these wrong doings today .
Being part of the first generation of South Africans that weren’t part of the Apartheid era , we were told that everyone was equal , and that everyone should treat one another equally . But growing up revealed the truth that although we want to believe that the times of segregation and discrimination are over , it in fact still lurks in the shadows and mindsets of our communities and is left unchecked .
These little whisperings of hatred eventually grow into the modern day problems that are consistently popping up throughput the world and not just South Africa .
Realistically speaking , the only people that are qualified to address these problems are the youth , since we are the ones that are essentially going to be running the world in the upcoming years and distant future . We can’t just sit by and watch our relationships deteriorate and hope to solve the problem when we become adults , because at that point it will be too late . This is essentially what lead me to WLSA . The mission of WLSA is to bridge gaps between people from far and wide , and I’ve seen firsthand how this happens with the Capstone of the WLSA Cross Cultural Leadership Program held in Jeju this year swell as the following student conference . WLSA provides a mean for the cultural interaction to take place and hopes to reach long term meaningful and change which is what we need more of at this point in society .