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Andile Mji


This study reports on a programme encapsulating the ideals of positive youth development. Here, a specific narrative of an observed problem, how youths were encouraged to participate in activities and the resultant effect of interactions, is described. Participants were 118 learners, 67 (56.8%) of whom were females. The learners were in Grades 10, 11 and 12 with ages ranging between 16 years and 18 years. The programme learners participated in starting and tending gardens at school. Here, the aim was to determine how exposing learners to an empowering environment resulted in building their competencies. Specifically, this article determined what lessons learners learnt from the development programme and whether attributes of positive youth development could be extracted from learners’ utterances. Qualitative data using open-ended interviews and following a narrative perspective were collected. Findings revealed that learners changed, learned to share and understood what it meant to work with others. Also, their utterings were consistent with competencies illustrating positive youth development. The findings illustrated the importance and value of positive programmes among the youth.


Positive youth development (PYD); school garden; nutrition; empowering environment; competencies

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