The Importance of Debating.
The cornerstone of all functioning democracies is the ability of its citizens to engage in critical analysis; to conceive, articulate and defend rational, reasoned arguments based on compelling evidence. Debating equips young people with the skills to analyse important issues, get to grips with complex material and formulate an argument which they are then able to put across persuasively. Key to this is the development of debaters' confidence, poise and communication skills, as well as their ability to respond to rebuttal and defend their point of view. These tools are essential to become active participants in society, and help students to obtain employment or further education.
Our vision and mission are born out of the ideals and values of Tore Eikeland. Tore was a passionate speaker and youth activist in Norway, concerned with social and developmental issues at home and in Africa. In 2011, Tore was tragically killed in the massacre on the island of Utøya in Norway. In Tore’s short life he played a part in national and international politics far beyond his years. We aim to give his ideas a voice and to enact the life-changing vision he has left behind.
Bhongolwethu Sonti – Director of Programmes
Bhongolwethu is a social innovation practitioner, focused on finding ways for meaningful youth engagement and empowerment, and has worked at Tores’ Foundation as Director of Programmes since day one. He has been instrumental in developing and tailoring our debating programmes. Bhongolwethu is a Women Deliver Young Leader Alumni, a member of the Commonwealth Youth Gender & Equality Network, and gained valuable experience working on development programmes with Mjoli Connect, Greenpop and as a member of the United Nations Population Fund’s (UNFPA) Youth Advisory Panel. In 2018 he was named as one of the Most Influential Young South Africans by Avance Media and as a Young Global Leader by Johnson & Johnson.
In’aam Kesner – Director of Operations
In'aam is our Director of Operations. She has worked for the Foundation since the outset, having previously been a Volunteer Advisor and Team Leader for Projects Abroad, an international volunteering organisation for young people. Born and brought up in Ocean View she put herself through university. She speaks with confidence and passion and is a great role model for our students. She is driven and dedicated and gets enormous fulfilment from seeing her students reach their goals and full potential.
Ricardo van der Merwe – Manager of Graduate Programmes
Ricardo is a local Capetonian who attended Sibelius High School, one of our participating schools. He has worked with Tore’s Foundation since 2018 having previously worked for Projects Abroad as a Volunteer Coordinator. In addition to facilitating debates at our high schools and at Communiversity, he also runs our advanced debating, alumni and internship programmes and is always on the lookout for opportunities for our students to expand their horizons. Ricardo has a wealth of experience in the youth leadership sphere.
Our Team is assisted by a group of trained facilitators who run the debating programme in selected schools and assist with the debating competitions.
We are grateful for the contribution and commitment
of our generous supporters and partners.
The Kavli Trust owns Norway’s Kavli Food Group which produces Kavli and Primula spreadable cheeses and Q-meierene dairy products. Profits made by the group, which are not required for their management and continued business development, are distributed by the trust for humanitarian causes, research and culture.
The Kavli Group is unique in Norway in that it is the country’s only food manufacturer to devote its profits to good causes – charitable works are not simply part of its business, but its entire purpose. Tore’s Foundation is immensely grateful to the Kavli Trust for its unwavering support since 2017 and without whom it would not have been possible to be making such a significant difference to the lives and aspirations of our students, instilling in them the democratic values espoused by Tore Eikeland and the Kavli Trust.