In 1999 the United Nations General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth and declared 12 August, International Youth Day. The first International Youth Day
was observed in August 2000. The day is there to enable us to celebrate young people’s actions, voices, initiatives and meaningful global engagement. The theme for this year’s celebrations is, “Youth Engagement for Global Action”.
The United Nations refers to the world’s youth as those that are between 15 and 24 years old and these make up one-sixth of the human population with many of these living in developing countries, including Zimbabwe.
In this country different organisations and institutions of course have their own youth age groups with some putting their limit up to the mid-thirties.
The main question, however, is did we actually celebrate this day at all when it arrived a few days ago? Admittedly we are going through a very difficult time as we find ourselves fighting an invisible and deadly enemy, COVID-19.
However, let us note that battles are fought by soldiers who would normally have a fairly high percentage of youth. As we fight Covid, are we letting our youth play their part as foot soldiers who can meaningfully contribute to the fight?
The liberation struggle that brought independence to Zimbabwe was fought by mostly young people. The liberation struggle against COVID-19 can also be fought with the meaningful participation of young people. Apparently, as it is we are not doing enough in terms of mobilizing our young people in order to get them more involved in the fight against COVID-19.
We might be rightfully calling health workers our frontline soldiers but we also need to get our youth more involved in battle activities like awareness campaigns while allowing them to suggest what they can do without necessarily
telling them what to do, thus giving them the platform to come up with their own initiatives.
It would be critical to get them to lead by example, thus reducing crowding and travelling of people with more youth staying at home and observing other Covid recommendations.
Let us promote youth engagement for global action against COVID-19. https://masvingomirror.com