Fellow Since 2000
Youth Empowerment Network
This profile was prepared when David Liknaitzky was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2000.
The New Idea
Apartheid was a carefully constructed system that took decades to instill in people. The absence of a systematic program to now disassemble it means that many South Africans, particularly young people, suffer from an inner oppression that prevents them from reaching their full potential. David has developed the first program to address this inner oppression among out-of-school and out-of-work youth. "Facing the Future with Courage" enables youth to take control of their lives and find self-worth and personal accomplishment. As part of the program, David has developed a unique methodology focused on what he calls "appreciative inquiry." Young people are encouraged to examine their homes with an appreciative eye and uncover the living, positive aspects of their communities, which are generally perceived as impoverished, crime-ridden, and hopeless.