Celebrating Youth Day and Olympism in South Africa
YOUTH SPORT LEADER FOCUS 2019: Ms Raedene Lucas, Youth Sport Leader and Activate Member
In the preamble of the Constitution, it is stated that Youth Day commemorations are a tribute to the youth who fought and suffered for justice and freedom in South Africa. During the Apartheid era, on 16 June 1976, black students walked out of classrooms into the streets of Soweto to protest against the racist laws that stood in the way of their education. Specifically, a protest against the laws which enforced that the delivery of education be taught in Afrikaans in township schools throughout South Africa. The use of local and inidigenous languages were completely prohibited, and the only languages approved by the National Government were English and Afrikaans. The protest began as a peaceful rally and evolved into a confrontation which included violent coercion by the South African Police Services.
Youth Day, which honours the school children whose lives were lost during this uprising in 1976 during the fight for equal human rights, freedom and justice, brings us into reflection of this historic day in South Africa’s democracy. The Foundation for Sport, Development and Peace would like to highlight one of our very own Youth Sport Leaders, who has started to take the values of Olympism (Respect, Friendship and Excellence) into the spectrum of Community Development using Sport, as a conduit. Ms Raedene Lucas, a recent graduate of the University of the Western Cape’s Post-Graduate Diploma for Sport, Development and Peace, and a member of the Activate! Youth Network for Change Drivers, assists in community and leadership development through Activate Programmes for youth members between 20-30 years old, in multi-sectoral initiatives. Since her involvement in the Activate! Youth Network Change Drivers, she has been a part of an Activation team that has contributed to the launch of an Activate Station at Tembisa Ratanga – a hub for all events bringing people together through music, education and culture, in Khayelitsha. At the Activate Station the team engages in youth development and facilitates in-depth group discussions about social, political and economic issues amongst youth and how innovative solutions can be used to drive change for the upliftment of our communities. These are referred to as Hackathons. Raedene began a course with Activate! in March and will complete the course after module two in August 2019.
Youth Day presents the opportunity to focus on the issues that affect our youth today, and encourages leaders in the Governmental, Educational and Non-Profit sectors to implement long-lasting initiatives to empower youth and effect change for the development of responsible and productive youth members of society. As this day is not only about the past, it has everything to do with the present and the future. The Foundation is invested in the development of young people through sport and education, in an effort to uplift determined and focused youth individuals as we all group together to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Through mentorship, leadership and education, we continue to envisage a fully equal, equitable and democratic South African society, as envisaged in the South African Constitution, This day is not only about the past, but very much about today and the future. Today, we are reminded of our responsibility as a Nation, as well as the steadfast determination and desire for change of and for our Young People, to develop innovative implementation mechanisms, in order to continue driving positive change.