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South African Journal of Occupational Therapy

On-line version ISSN 2310-3833
Print version ISSN 0038-2337


DE JONGH, Jo-Celene; WEGNER, Lisa  and  STRUTHERS, Patricia. Developing capacity amongst adolescents attending a leadership camp. S. Afr. j. occup. ther. [online]. 2014, vol.44, n.3, pp.6-10. ISSN 2310-3833.

There is a need to reduce risk-taking behaviour amongst adolescents and for them to become involved in promoting their own health and wellbeing, as well as that of their communities. One aspect of a promoting health in schools approach is to develop young people's competencies in understanding and influencing, their lifestyles and living conditions. This article focusses on how leadership capacity was developed in a group of learners who attended a leadership camp as part of a health promoting school project in the Western Cape. The aim of the study was to explore a group of learners' experiences of their participation in a leadership camp and how this developed their leadership skills. The study was conducted using an explorative qualitative approach. Two focus groups were conducted with six learners who attended the camp. Four themes emerged from the thematic analysis of the data: (1) Becoming myself; (2) Learning life's lessons; (3) I can take on the world; and (4) Health promoting schools make a difference in my life. The findings of the study indicate that developing leadership capacity is embedded within, and part of, a broader process of empowerment. Occupational therapists' understanding of the link between health and occupation enables them to make a valuable contribution to planning and implementing appropriate leadership camps for adolescents.

Keywords : Adolescents; health promotion; leadership camp.

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