Based in Johannesburg since 2002, CIVICUS: World Alliance is commemorating Youth Day in South Africa by initiating a conversation to find this generation of young people’s mission and empower youth to organise, mobilise and take action throughout the world to better our communities. Forty-one years after the Soweto youth uprising that took place on 16 June, a group of creative and engaged members from the CIVICUS Youth Working Group took to the street of Johannesburg in a quest to find their generation’s mission. They recorded the diverse voices of young people living in Johannesburg in order to achieve this goal.
Youth Day is a celebration to remember the ability of young people, through their voices, actions and power, to stand up and speak out for our collective rights and to create meaningful change for our present and future. Throughout the world, the youth population is increasing. This is particularly the case in developing countries where civic space – the fundamental space necessary to exercise the freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly – is being unduly restricted. This is according to the CIVICUS Monitor, which highlights added challenges facing young people living in the global South. Often, they face systematic violations of their human rights through institutionalized inequality, lack of protection against discrimination, unjust and unfavourable work conditions, and few have access to an adequate standard of living with proper health services and education.
History has shown us the power of organised people. Speaking up together we have held leaders accountable, created change and ensured that we are building a better place to live in every day. That is why CIVICUS is launching this conversation now – both online and offline – with a variety of stakeholders around the world. We aim to discover the thoughts, hopes, and vision for the world of this current generation of citizens.
We – the young people of the world – are the consumers, employees, employers and future leaders who will see the devastating effects of shrinking civic space and climate change, but also the generation who can stop this and write another story. By engaging in this conversation, you will be contributing to building a stronger community of like-minded people committed to working together for that mission.
If you are a CIVICUS member we invite you to join us now by answering the question: what is our generation’s mission? We also invite you to go out and meet young people in your city, ask them the same question, record it in a short 1-minute video and send it to us before August 4th. If you are not yet a CIVICUS member we invite you to sign up here. Registration is quick and easy and, for associate members, is free, so join us today to share your views with CIVICUS’s alliance of more than 3,600 civil society organizations and activists and our 50,000 followers on social media!
The compilation of all the videos will be showcased online on International Youth Day on 12 August 2017!