June is celebrated as a Youth Month in South Africa with special emphasis being on the 16th of June, known as the Youth Day, which profoundly changed the socio-political landscape in South Africa. This year marks the 41st Anniversary of the Soweto uprising where young people lost their lives while protesting against the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instructions in schools. The 2017 celebrations will be under the theme: The Year of OR Tambo: Advancing Youth Economic Empowerment. This comes at a time when SAAYC proudly celebrates 80 Years of Youth Development in South Africa.
After 8 decades of SAAYC’s existence, the National Youth Policy 2015 – 2020 still mentions the following challenges, amongst others, faced by young people: unemployment and joblessness, High drop – out rates and inadequate skills development, inadequate framework for youth work, poor health, high HIV and AIDS prevalence, lack of access to sporting and cultural opportunities and lack of cohesion and volunteerism.
It is unfortunate that over and above the challenges faced by the Youth in South Africa, the country is faced by an emerging trend of abduction and killing of young women and kids by men. This has led to a number of campaigns and hashtags like “men are trash”, “hands off our women” and “not in my name”. We as SAAYC say “Kwanele” it is enough. None of us must leave in fear. We stand together with all communities in South Africa; we raise our voices against these killing and say enough is enough.
It is sad that women and children are killed by people who are supposed to protect them. As SAAYC we are vocal about this so as to teach young men that violence breeds violence. Martin Luther King, Jr once said “Nonviolence is not sterile passivity, but a powerful moral force which makes for social transformation”. SAAYC’s activities in June will include advocating for nonviolence to achieve social change. Not only nonviolence against women and girls, but also against young men as well. Young boys should learn that respect starts with themselves. They will grow to be responsible young men who know the powerful value of respect.
SAAYC’s Programme of the Youth Month will entail a month long activities in Centres and provincial gatherings around the country aimed at highlighting the work done by SAAYC as we celebrate 80 Years of Youth Development and also celebrating and commemoration the Soweto Uprising . Activities will include amongst others educating SAAYC members and young people about SAAYC programmes, our stratedy and opportunities available for them instead of looking at challenges. It will also include Ready To Work Graduations in centres and educating the society, particularly young men, about nonviolence.
|1.||09 to 18 June 2017||SAAYC Programmes Exhibition at the Gauteng Youth Expo||Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec||Johannesburg||Gauteng||08:00 to 16:30||Mr. Bongani Mnisi|
|2.||10 June 2017||North West Members Gathering, stakeholder engagement and SAAYC 80thCelebration||Montshiwa Anglican Church||Mahikeng||North West||10:00 to 15:00||Miss. Keabetswe Mutlwatse|
|3.||16 June 2017||Makeneng SAAYC Centre Readytowork Certificate Ceremony and SAAYC 80thCelebration||Makeneng Primary School, QwaQwa||QwaQwa||Free State||10:00 to 13:00||Mr. Abe Ndaba|
|4.||22 June 2017||Gauteng Membership Gathering, stakeholder engagement and SAAYC 80thCelebration||Deepkloof Community Hall||Soweto||Gauteng||10:00 to 15:00||Mr. Teboho Kwenda|
|5.||24 June 2017||Ekurhuleni SAAYC Centre Readytowork Certificate Ceremony and 80thCelebration||Tshepo Temba SAAYC Centre, Etwatwa||Etwatwa||Gauteng||10:00 to 13:00||Mr. Skhumbozo Ngobese|
|6.||25 June 2017||Kwazulu Natal Membership Gathering, stakeholder engagement and 80th Celebration||Port Shepstone||Port Shepstone||KwaZulu-Natal||08:00 to 10:00||Mr. Caswell Komako|
|7.||27 June 2017||Free State South and North Region Membership Gathering, stakeholder engagement and 80th Celebration||Bloemfontein||Kagisanong Community||Free State||10:00 to 15:00||Mr. Caswell Komako|
|8.||28 June 2017||Mpumalanga West Region Members Gathering, stakeholder engagement and 80th Celebration||Adilet Tambo Hall||Middleburg||Mpumalanga||10:00 to 15:00||Mr. Sicelo Ngubane|
|9.||29 June 2017||Mpumalanga East Region Members Gathering, stakeholder engagement and 80th Celebration||Ekulindeni Community Hall, Ekulindeni||Ekulindeni||Mpumalanga||10:00 to 15:00||Mr. Sicelo Ngubane|
|10.||30 June 2017||Limpopo Members Gathering, stakeholders engagement and 80th Celebration||Capricorn District Municipality Council Chamber, Polokwane||Polokwane||Limpopo||09:00 to 14:00||Miss. Salome Kutumela|
|11.||30 June 2017||SAAYC and Hopes and Home Child Safety Comic Strip Event||Tshepo Temba SAAYC Centre, Etwatwa||Etwatwa||Gauteng||10:00 to 13:00||Mr. Skhumbozo Ngobese|
|12.||30 June 2017||SAAYC Orange Farm Readytowork Certificate Ceremony and 80thCelebration||Orange Farm SAAYC Centre||Orange Farm Ext 3||Gauteng||10:00 to 13:00||Mr. Nsizwa Hlongwane|
I therefore invite you join SAAYC to be counted amongst other Change Makers during the Youth Month and also be part of SAAYC’s 80 years celebration in various areas within the country.
We cannot be silent about SAAYC’s contribution to youth development and about what young people, particularly young women, face in the modern South Africa. Martin Luther King, Jr said “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”
I therefore appeal to all young people to celebrate the Youth Day with respect, dignity and humility in honour of the fallen heroes and our democracy. That being said, I wish to say HAPPY YOUTH MONTH to all South Africans.