This year National Youth Day and Youth Month will be celebrated under the theme
During this month of June, Susters4Life will be celebrating and commemorating Youth Month in South Africa. This annual holiday serves as a reminder to South African citizens of the brave protestors who risked their lives 45 years ago, in pursuit of freedom from the nation’s apartheid governmental regime. These protests sparked a nationwide push towards liberation from apartheid and formed the foundation for South Africa’s government today. While June 16th itself has passed, the societal achievements that occurred as a result of these brave protests will be celebrated throughout the entire month. Decades later, the effects of those sacrifices are still continuously felt throughout the nation.
This year specifically, to properly celebrate Youth Month, it is so important to reflect on the ways that South Africa can uplift and support its country’s youth. To do so, it’s critical that we recognize the unique toll that the COVID-19 pandemic took on South Africa’s youth over the course of this last year. The nationwide lockdown created specific hardships for these younger generations, who were already placed in positions of vulnerability regarding employment and involvement in the workforce. According to the Institute for Poverty, Land, and Agrarian Studies along with the Reserve Bank, there is expected to be approximately 1.6 million jobs lost as a result of the ongoing health crisis, with young citizens being especially vulnerable to this loss (citation).
This ongoing crisis is especially relevant for us here at Susters4Life because women have been disproportionately affected by these losses in employment opportunities and are thus among one of the largest groups of unemployed citizens in South Africa. In order to continue to advance the important societal role of females in this country, ensuring stable employment and fulfilling work opportunities is a necessity. With our mission statement being helping women build entrepreneurial skills and for advocating gender equality, it is imperative that we also utilize Youth Month to advocate for better employment opportunities for the youth of South Africa, and thus the women of South Africa.
One of the best ways we can continue to honor the sacrifices that South African’s youth made those many years ago is to ensure the success of South Africa’s youth now. This is why here at Susters4Life, we are…