On June 16, this year, our country's youth will join the millions of our countrymen and women in celebrations of the Decade of Freedom. This, they will do through a series of activities that will span throughout June, Youth Development Month and beyond.
The democratic Government declared June 16 a National Youth Day.
June 16, 1976 remains an unforgettable milestone in our country's struggle for national liberation. The youth of our country took to the streets to protest against the unjust policies of the past, particularly Bantu Education. They were met with brutal force of the apartheid system and Hector Zolile Peterson was the first reported victim of that brutality.
This month it is exactly 28 year since that fateful day.
To commemorate that highlight in the struggle for national liberation and to celebrate the Decade of Freedom, the National Youth Commission (NYC) and the South African Youth Council (SAYC) have agreed that the following activities be undertaken under the theme, "Youth Celebrating a Decade of Freedom and Seizing the Opportunities of Democracy".
Youth mobilisation will commence at local levels of our governance where youth will convene Youth Cells (1-7 June 2004) to speak out on how they have benefited from the opportunities of the democratic Government and the challenges and solutions of the Second Decade of Freedom. Youth who are succeeding in seizing the opportunities and who are now role models will be mobilised to serve as a source of inspiration to the rest of our youth at the community levels.
Another major activity will be the Youth Train (8 -11 June 2004), which is meant to symbolise the course youth development traversed. Youth involvement in the struggle dates back from time immemorial and their resilience ensured that the country reaches its goal of liberating its entire people from the apartheid system of governance.
Four trains will travel across all nine provinces until they reach Mankwe military base in North West where a Youth Festival (13-17 June 2004) will be held. In the trains youth will discuss youth development issues with specific reference to the Cabinet approved National Youth Service programme. The launch of the Youth Train will take place in Cape Town on 8 June 2004.
The Festival will serve as a learning platform for 1500 youth delegates from all over the country. Various themes ranging from youth and the economy, education, health, social well-being etc, have been selected for discussion during the stay in Mankwe. Various government Department will provide responses to questions by young people on how their programmes seek to address youth development challenges of poverty, underdevelopment and marginalisation.
The partnership with the Department of Defence is mainly inspired by the change that has taken place in the service rendered by the Department over the past ten years. Unlike the treatment youth received in 1976, today the Department is driven by the Batho-Pele principles of the Democratic Government.
On June 16, National Youth Day, a Youth Development message from Government and Youth Development institutions will be delivered to the youth of our country at Olympia Park stadium, Rustenburg. The day's programme [PDF]will be concluded with cultural performances by local young and upcoming and other prominent artists.
On June 17, in the Mankwe Military base, the 1500 Youth Festival participants will discuss the Government's June 16 2004 message for the purpose of designing programmes they will implement when they return to their communities. Such programme will be inextricably linked to promoting the spirit of service among our country's youth as stipulated in the National Youth Service Policy framework and Implementation plan.
There will be Youth Development Month activities in your area.
For more information please contact the Youthline on 0800 000 001.
Issued by the:
National Youth Commission
Tel: 012 309 7800
Fax: 012 324 4759
Website: www.nyc.pwv.gov.za or www.yis.co.za
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