The Month of June is celebrated as “Youth Month” in South Africa, in remembrance of the massacre of school children during the Soweto Uprising of 1976. The purpose of this time includes paying tribute to the brave young people that took a stand against inequality in our country. Its also a time for us to reflect on the resilience of our youth of today. The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the dreams of many of our youth. They have had to face the challenges of having their social life curtailed, adjusting to on-line studies, in many cases putting their studies on hold and facing an uncertain future.
To commemorate Youth Month at our centre we had a special Youth Day Celebration and over the past weekend we conducted an interactive session with our young people about ‘daring to dream’. We were so impressed and encouraged to receive their positive responses despite of all the challenges that have been presented to them during this time. These were some of their responses (Names have been changed to protect their identity):
Please share your dream with us.
Sam (15) – “I want to be a farmer cause when you are a farmer you do things by your own hands. Most people do not choose this career, because they are lazy. I choose this dream to change lives by doing agriculture in this country.”
Thabo (16) – “I want to be a TV presenter and Rapper.”
Zion (12) – “I want to be a pilot.”
Yanga (15) – “I want to be an artist and a R&D Scientist.”
- Despite the disruptions of the Covid-19 pandemic, please share with us how you have remained positive and focused on achieving your dream?
Sam (15) – “I remained positive, because I always tell myself that God has plans for me.”
Thabo (16) – “Keep writing lyrics, practise and focus on your dreams.”
Zion (12) – “By wearing your mask and sanitising.”
Yanga (15) – “I want to have my own style and make my own vibe, create my own fashion designs and make my own brands. I want to travel the world. As I travel and figure out and understand the world and make it better for society. I’ll rap and have strict time management. I’ll have to study many terms of studies to be a R&D Scientist. I must be patient and not lose hope.”
- If you had a chance to motivate other young people to believe in their dreams, what would you say to them?
Sam (15) – “Live your life for you, be yourself. Remember where you came from. You make yourself. Think before you do.”
Thabo (16)) – “Focus on what you want.”
Zion (12) – “Focus on your dream and education. Never give up!”
Yanga (15) – “Start your dreams young and think big of it and progress then you will know where you are going.”
As Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” We are encouraged to know that we do have young people in our care, daring to dream and not just that, but also believing and working towards making their dreams become a reality. Our hope is that the youth of today will rise above the present-day challenges with the same spirit as those who went before them. There is hope for the future generation. A generation of dreamers!