Youth Day in South Africa commemorates the Soweto Uprising and recognizes the role of the youth in the liberation of South Africa from the Apartheid regime.
Celebrating the 16th of June
Youth Day in South Africa is celebrated in memory of all the youngsters who lost their lives during the Soweto Uprising, especially the death of a 12 year old student Hector Pieterson. While the day represents sad days in history, it is celebrated with musical concerts around the country to celebrate the energy of youth and sees various educational discussions being organized by school and college students around the country. Various youth oriented non- profit organizations also organize awareness campaigns on this day to make the youth of the country aware of the challenges in the current environment of the country.
The Soweto Uprising
The Soweto Uprising is a series of protests led by high school students in South Africa that began on the morning of 16 June 1976. Students from numerous Sowetan schools began to protest in the streets of Soweto in response to the introduction of Afrikaans as the medium of instruction in local schools. It was the Soweto Uprising which laid the grounds for the release of Nelson Mandela and the end of the Apartheid regime in the country.
Youth making a difference
More than just its historical importance, Youth Day illustrates to the young how they can make a difference and impact the future of an entire nation. It celebrates the fact that while being young, you still have a voice and the ability to stand up for what you believe in and change the world for the better. And while the fall of the Apartheid regime has resulted in children being taught in their mother language, the opportunity still exists for youth volunteering abroad to help in restoring the inequalities inflicted in the past.
Youth volunteering abroad
While the Soweto Uprising remains a part of South African history, youth all over the world can take the action and raise their voice for something they believe in. By volunteering abroad the youth of today can have a positive impact on communities and other children less privileged to promote equality all over the world.