NightWalkingTruths

ideas on creativity

YOUTH DAY: Be the Change

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Be the change for the youth of the future

Be the change for the youth of the future

Today we remember June 16th, 1976. The Soweto Riots. The day Hector Pietersen died. Those of us growing up in the 80s and 90s have been reminded of this day at school every year in history class. And so we should be. Generations of South Africans to come should be told this story and reminded of the sacrifice the youth made on this day to see how far we have come since then.

However, it’s 33 years on and our youth are still suffering. We don’t have jobs. We take drugs. We rape and murder. We are victims of these violent crimes. We are orphans. We are mothers and fathers to our brothers and sisters. We live on the streets. The freedom rainbow continues to elude us.

Yet, we have hopes and dreams for a brighter future. Dreams of economic security, safety and a place under the sun where we can call home. “We demand change!”, as Malema has put it so eloquently.

Our government has responded to the youth crisis. South Africa’s recent elections and inauguration of Comrade Zuma as president has seen the creation of three government departments putting youth issues on the agenda. These are the departments of basic education, higher education and training and the department of women, youth, children and people with disabilities.

The first two are straightforward, the third department, at least the name of it seems to lump all people who are not elderly, or fit, working men together. Why did they have to put both youth and children in the title? Can someone tell me the difference? Surely just youth would be enough?

With out government not being in the position to make any promises yet (who knows when that will be) the next step is to look at ourselves. What can we, collectively as the youth do for the future youth of our country? For motivation read the Mail and Guardian Online’s list of 300 Young South Africans to take to lunch. The actions of these people truly inspire. Some have started from the bottom, and are achieving international success. This could be you.

In the words of another hero, the famous Gandhi-ji, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Discard your apathy and rise to the challenge of making South Africa better for the youth of the future so that they can grow up as innocent children, free from the violence and tragedy that plagues us today.

Here are some of my ideas on how we can start our own revolution to change our environment:

  1. Get involved with a local organisation helping the youth in your community. Whether it’s through donations or volunteering your time or expertise, these grassroots organisations need your help.
  2. Think of a business idea. Even if you are successful and happily employed. Our country desperately needs economic growth and development. This leaves us with many opportunities for innovation. Our markets are far from saturated and skills are needed. No matter how tiny the idea is, with a small business you can help yourself with a second income plus help others when your business starts to grow.
  3. Be positive and believe that you can make a difference. Even if it’s in one person’s life. Our negative attitudes transcend onto those around us. What chance do the future youth have if we believe and accept there is no hope for our country?
  4. Lastly open your hearts to each other. This is a national crisis affecting all of us regardless of race, class or religion. We are blessed to live in a nation filled with diversity. We need to work hard to continue to overcome our borders of segregation and to fully engage and address these issues on every level. Let’s mobilize our skills and efforts.

I know I can do these things. I know you can too. Do you have more ideas of how we can be the change for the future youth of our country? Please comment and add them to the list. Let’s start talking about how we can do this.

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Written by BiancaZAR

June 16, 2009 at 10:28 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Nice Bianca…I like that you’ve added this post. People tend to think that we turn from South Africa when we work overseas…but nothing teaches you the ache in your heart like when you’re away from home. When you finally realise that South Africans are rich in areas where the rest of the world experiences lack. Perhaps it also gives us perspective on our longing when we are further from our fear.

    howtoclimbamountain

    June 18, 2009 at 9:08 pm

  2. Just what i needed to read!

    Maciek

    February 25, 2010 at 7:12 pm


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