By Nicolette Ferreira
“Known or unknown, we can all make a difference if we try.” – Fabian Jood, The South African Movement
Four years ago, on board a flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg, youth pastor Fabian Jood experienced the gentle nudging of God’s Spirit: “You will use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again.” (Isaiah 58:12, The Message) Fabian knew that God had chosen that moment on the aeroplane to show him that He would take him from city to city to restore broken legacies all across South Africa…
THE SOUTH AFRICAN MOVEMENT
Today Fabian is the founder and director of The South African Movement (The SAM), a non-profit organization that focuses on nation building and the restoration of broken legacies in South Africa.
In order to achieve their goal, this vital NPO focuses on the immediate family: ‘We believe that we cannot change our nation until we change our communities… and we cannot change our communities until we change the value of family.’
The SAM aims at motivating, educating and mobilizing South Africans by encouraging them to take a ‘Nation Builder’s Pledge’. By taking this pledge (see http://www.thesam.co.za), individuals promise to propagate positive family values and make a difference in their homes, schools and work place – wherever they find themselves.
In an interview with Lead SA, Fabian says: ‘When you speak of nation building, people immediately assume you are a politician. Yet, nation building is something every South African can be part off. Anybody can be a nation builder – a parent, teacher, doctor, taxi driver or teenager… Known or unknown we can all make a difference if we try.’
The South African Movement is based on Christian values, as the seed for this concept was sown by God. Fabian and the team at The SAM lean on God’s direction and guidance in managing every aspect of this organisation.
PROJECTS AT THE SAM
The SAM is responsible for running a variety of programs in various communities. For the youth, there are life skills programs, youth mentorship programs and entrepreneurship programs. Fabian, who has a Masters degree in Practical Theology through the University of Wales, currently works for Planetshakers City Church (Cape Town) and he specifically has a heart for the youth.
Topics specifically focused on when addressing the youth, involve: Being the change in your community; the power behind realizing your potential; positive self-identity and taking responsibility, instead of being a victim of your past (‘Be an innovator of your future!’).
The SAM also runs various programs and seminars that focus on the whole family. Here facilitators address family matters and values, focusing on the important role that fathers play, and running helpful youth and parent workshops. They specifically deal with the challenge of the generational gap, which puts parents and youth up against each other.
Fabian says that, ‘Young people feel their parents don’t understand them and parents feel the youth are from another planet! We facilitate fun and interactive talks that help parents understand young people and young people their parents – thus saving the war at home so we can build better communities. We make both parents and children aware of the fact that family is the basic building block of any society.’
NOT FORGETTING THE ELDERLY
Society often does not occupy themselves with the needs and lives of their aged members. Many old people go through endless days of no visitors, often sitting in homes where they are given absolutely no respect. The SAM gives much of their energy and resources to getting communities and individuals involved with the precious old-aged. The elderly need the same love, attention and respect that young people do. We are quite similar, in fact, for, as politician Jim Fiebig once said, ‘Age does not diminish the extreme disappointment of having a scoop of ice cream fall from the cone!’
Fabian explains that, ‘Through our community campaigns, we motivate young people in schools to adopt a project in their community. People can look at what the needs are in their community and then we facilitate the process by getting sponsors and exposure and by keeping them accountable for their projects. Many young people feel that old people are neglected, which is why they keep reaching out to old age homes. Our responsibility is to ensure these projects are not once-off events but ongoing ventures.’
As part of their nation building mission, The SAM focuses on telling the stories of ordinary South Africans: ‘We tell the stories of those who cannot speak for themselves, highlighting success stories within families and communities: stories of inspiration, hope and courage. We bring to the light, stories of nation builders all across our nation!
‘There are genuine people who, through severe circumstances, are doing the best they can to live honest and dignified lives. By putting together short documentaries of such people on our website and Facebook page, and in the near future on main stream television and you-tube, we want to inspire the nation. If we do not tell these stories, no one will ever hear about them. We speak on behalf of those who do not have the necessary resources.’ (‘To understand a man you must know his memories. The same is true of a nation’ – Anthony Quayle.)
The SAM is committed to seek out, motivate, mobilize and resource emerging nation builders to make a difference where they can. Why not join this significant and vibrant movement by becoming a nation builder in your home and community? Go to their website for information on signing the Nation Builder’s Pledge (www.thesam.co.za). Perhaps you are aware of a desperate need in your community: Bring your suggestions to Fabian and his team.
The SAM is currently doing a nation wide Schools and Community Tour from May till October to encourage South Africans to take the Nation Builders Pledge. Email The SAM at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like them to host an event in your area.
The South African Movement serves as a reminder of the hope that reigns in the hearts of South Africans. “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” (Ephesians 3: 20-21)