Being a young person comes with its own unique set of challenges, and when throwing in the pandemic and a youth unemployment rate of over 70%, it can be hard to see light at the end of the tunnel. Many young South Africans need our support, and regardless of how much time or money we have, there is something all of us can do to make a difference in the lives of young people.
As we look forward to commemorating Youth Day on the 16th of June, we are reminded of what Youth Day stands for – providing better possibilities for our future generations. In the spirit of unity and changing lives for the better, here are 3 ways you can show your solidarity with the youth.
- Invest in their futures – at no cost to you
The key to a better future, not only in South Africa, but everywhere in the world, is through education. There are thousands of young people across the country who are willing and able to further their studies beyond a Matric certificate, but do not have the resources to do so. Thankfully, programmes like the Dream2Teach Scholarship Fund exist to make tertiary education a reality. Initiated by MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet, Dream2Teach works hand-in-hand with the Make A Difference (MAD) Foundation, St. Peter’s Foundation internship programme and Realema to recruit hard working students who dream of becoming teachers. Currently 20 students are part of the Dream2Teach scholarship fund. Show your support by signing up for a MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet card at www.myschool.co.za and selecting Dream2Teach as your beneficiary. Every time you make a purchase at one of their retail partners, a portion of your spend will be donated to your cause – at no extra cost to you.
- Show support for under-resourced communities
In support of the United Nations’ sustainable development goal – #zerohunger by 2030 – Woolies continues to collaborate with their existing food security and disaster relief NGO partners to provide relief during these challenging times. In the past year they have introduced a number of initiatives to make it easier for their customers, colleagues and suppliers to donate funds, food, and grocery items to meet the growing demand to feed the hungry.
They recently continued their work with Gift of the Givers and focused on donating a thousand food care parcels to communities in the Eastern Cape. These include 400 food parcels to people in Mthatha and the rest of the parcels were donated to people in the Mdantsane and Duncan Village communities in East London.
These initiatives will continue in hopes to meet the growing demand to feed the hungry. They are also looking at sustainable and long term solutions to help with food security in marginalised communities. Show your support now by donating R10 here.
- Empower young girls through technology
It’s incredibly important that we show all children, and especially young girls, that they are capable of achieving any of their goals, no matter how gendered the field may seem – one of these being science and technology. Long dominated as a field for men, young people need to be shown that anyone can learn about technology and pursue a career in it. GirlCode is an organisation that educates girls and women on technology, more specifically, how to code. Their current initiatives include the GirlCoder Club, a “nationwide network of volunteer-led, weekend coding clubs for high school girls who want to have a strong foundation in basic programming skills”, the Online Coding Bootcamp, which is a hybrid of in-person and online training that teaches girls how to become developers, and Hackathons, an annual event to raise awareness and spark interest in the field of technology among young girls. You can read more about the great work they do, and how to donate, here.
These are just a few of the ways we as ordinary people can make a difference and show more interest in the wellbeing and future of the youth in South Africa. While it remains a challenge for young people to succeed in life, we have the responsibility to do what we can to better their futures.