Thursday, August 16, 2012

Young Woman of Note- August

Koketso Moeti- South Africa
Koketso caught my attention when I saw her commenting on Facebook on a mutual friend's wall. Her tone and her intelligent responses to development issues made me sit up and wonder who she was and what she did. My instincts told me that she was another unique young woman with a passion for positive social change and her articulation of how she thought this could happen was really impressive. I will let her talk to you herself. Thanks for all you do Koketso and thanks for being part of the re-branding of Our continent: showing the world that we have and are all we need.

 I am an ordinary 25 year old young woman, a servant and a mother to two beautiful children who are my world.

Despite the opulence we see all around us in South Africa, I also see too much needless suffering and growing up I wondered how that is possible. How one person can be worth billions, yet another dying of hunger? How one person can waste so much water, yet so many communities go without water. It was from this and my interest in the human mind that I felt compelled to try and go about changing this.

I found myself very frustrated about the way poverty alleviation is being handled, that a blue-print approach is being taken, which does not take people’s varying contexts into account. It was from this that a dream was born, a dream to create positive change- but differently. I had a dream that instead of the usual charity work one could actually empower people in a way that allowed them to break the cycle of poverty; create sustainable livelihoods which focused not on the accumulation of wealth, but rather on communities able to sustain themselves and families able to satisfy their most basic needs. This led to the founding of Operation ROOIGROND (, which is a project that uses education and knowledge to promote access to information; alleviate poverty, eradicate substance abuse and all other social ills that go with poverty.

Young students of the early childhood learning center

Operation Rooigrond goes beyond building a library and facilitating positive change. It is about making a difference, bringing hope where there’s none. It is about lighting up a spark in people’s lives, a spark which they in turn would carry to another person leading to a fire within the community; which is bound to spread out and reach society at large. We also hope to be a vehicle through which we can actually have the voices of the marginalised heard and eventually even influence and alter policy. For too long the poor have gone ignored and here we say, despite people’s circumstances, let them be provided with an opportunity to be active participants in the creation of a better world.
The youth engaged in dance

There is a misconception of my work and it is perceived to be ‘anti-government’ or ‘controversial’, rather than ‘pro-people’ and ‘pro-justice’. As much as it isolates one, I am very fortunate to be doing what I love to do and this gives me more opportunity to immerse myself in it.
Community gathering

Apart from Operation: ROOIGROND, I am also the South African Correspondent of Safe World (Please see, which allows me to share news affecting women and children on the ground. Too often the plight of rural and marginalized people, as well as their stories of hope and victory, are ignored and this has given me a platform from which to share such stories and raise awareness of the challenges faced.
Temporary shelter to help with community relief after a fire

I also serve as the Provincial Coordinator of the North-West branch of the South African NGO Coalition (SANGOCO North-West). This has provided me with a platform from which to connect and serve in the province as a whole, a challenge I really have come to enjoy and love. It is also the means through which I fund the Operation: ROOIGROND administration costs and also allows me to reach further for the purposes of sharing the experiences of women in South Africa.
Rooigrond Early Childhood Learning Center

I am also an aspiring writer, with the ambition of using words to promote social transformation, my blog can be viewed on http://koketsomoeti.wordpress.comSocial media is another way I try to further the various causes in which I am involved, so I am quite active on a number of them including Twitter (@ORooigrond and @Kmoeti), Facebook (; LinkedIn ( and Google Plus (

Please find here-under some links which may assist you in discovering more about me and my work:

An article written by me for The Sunday Times about my project, Operation: ROOIGROND- 'The World is in My Hand' (published on the 10th June 2012):

Safe World for Women profile:

Operation: ROOIGROND website:

‘The World Through My Eyes’ blog:

In the media:

ROOIGROND Response to North-West State of the Province Address:

Rooigrond People take on Premier:

Waiting For the ‘Promised Land’:

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