The heart of any business lies in the values of the people that have built it. Building Blocks was founded to respond to the clarion call for education alternatives in Africa; an offer of education alternatives on the continent.
We sat with founder, Mpho Lebethe, to explore the people behind the organisation and the structures that hold it up.
Building Blocks kicked off this youth month with yet another bootcamp. In the year that marks the 44th anniversary of the 1976 Soweto student uprising that echoed the voices of thousands of youth voices, the students rose to the challenge once again.
The third student bootcamp for 2020 kicked off on the winter’s afternoon of 8 June and ran through to 12 June 2020. No one could have imagined the meanders and plot twists of the year 2020. South Africa was In the third month of a national lockdown due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) the influenza epidemic that has swept across the world.
In this instance COVID-19 does not exist in isolation, it features as the backdrop of heightening tensions across the world which have marked the insurgence of international protests.
The tensions began with the murder of George Floyd who died at the hands of a white police office in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA. Derek Chauvin, the police officer, pressed his knee Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes while Floyd begged for mercy, repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe.” Crowds could be heard petitioning with the officer in the background in the incident that was all recorded on camera.
Back home in South Africa, there have been tensions between deployed military forced and citizens which have had fatal consequences. Gender based crimes have increased in scale and brutality as the war against women and queer bodies continues. People have taken to the streets to demonstrate in their numbers, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The noise surrounding the world has led to the need for a urgent, nuanced and sustainable solutions to a multifaceted problems. Bearing the weight and complexity of all issued, Building Blocks inducted a cohort of students to solve for the problems at hand and create a platform for collaborative ideation.
The solutions ranged from alert devices, digital apps and social media campaigns. These were demonstrated via an online market day that welcomed the public for comment and assessment.
Congratulations to the Building Blocks Online Bootcamp Class of June 2020. You have demonstrated brilliance in a time of chaos and reinforced the notion that during the most crucial moments in society, the platitudes remain true.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”
What do you do when the whole word is shut down due to a global pandemic that has everyone scratching their heads?
Well, at Building Blocks, we create think tanks! We truly believe that where there is a will, there is a way and this held most true during the first ever Online Building Blocks Bootcamp held in response to the pandemic.
Students joined from across the the continent to bring their minds together in pursuit of solutions and skills on how to implement these.
The class carried a number of characters, some who knew all about entrepreneurship, others with no clue but everyone shared curiosity in common.
Take a look at some of the fabulous faces that joined us
Building Blocks kicked off 2020 with an explosive bootcamp hosting a packed room of students at Workshop 17 in Sandton Johannesburg.
Closing off a restful festive season holiday break, the cohort of budding entrepreneurs joined together for the five-day immersive learning experience.
Entering the classroom, the students were curious and eager but ill equip to lay the foundations towards building their entrepreneurial journeys. Building Blocks thrives in the company of the determined but unskilled as our model is create where there is potential.
Five days and eight modules later, the building blocks students pitched to a panel of expert judges and demonstrated their creations on market day.
This dedicated group of students is proof that that those who achieve their dreams simply work for them!