The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation Youth Activism Programme stands in solidarity with young people in South Africa and all across the globe as we continue to advocate for a more just and equal world. Today marks International Youth Day, and we would like to add our voice to the global #BeSeenBeHeard campaign led by the UN Youth Envoy. This campaign recognizes the important role that young people play in shaping our present and future. It is a campaign that aims to advance the rights of young people by increasing youth participation in political life. The #BeSeenBeHeard campaign highlights the urgent need for youth to lead and amplify their voices in places where decisions are made about our future. “While nearly half of the world’s population is under 30, only 2.6% of parliamentarians are under 30 and the average age of our political leaders is 62.” We recognize that young people are not a homogeneous group, and that we share different interests views and opinions. However, there is a growing and worrying disconnect between us and those in power.
Young people continue to bear the brunt of decisions made for and about us, but without our direct input and support. Youth unemployment, inequality, climate change, equal education, mental health, violence,
are just a few of the most pressing issues we are currently facing. “The https://beseenbeheardcampaign.com Global Youth Report, unpacks the structural barriers we face in accessing our right to political participation. This campaign explores how we can all contribute to removing such barriers and examine the ways in which young people are already engaging and contributing to our world, while also interrogating the basis for our exclusion.” The AKF Youth Activism Programme will continue to create space for increased youth participation in our Democracy. We encourage young people to join our community of activists and leaders, and for those
who believe in such a vision to support our work https://www.kathradafoundation.org/donate/ We need to raise our collective voice by organising, mobilising and developing a global plan of action to
ensure we change legislation and/or policy, to support programming that promotes youth participation in public life in every community, country, region and on global forums.
Young people make up the largest portion of society, and therefore we have the collective power to change the way politics is done. As a first step let’s aim to get all eligible young people registered to vote, and reiterate the call for meaningful change to the electoral system that will allow people to hold elected representatives and officials to account.
Let’s do it together!