Youth Corner
Published on August 12, 2020

International Youth Day 2020: A letter to the youth

It was National Women’s day on the 9th of August in South Africa. It really gave me time to reflect on what being a woman meant to me. In the process, I reflected on the actions of the resilient and brave South African women whose fire burned too bright to be dimmed. The women who fought to give me the rights I have today.

Today, as I write this in celebration of International Youth Day, I reflect on the youth that have done the same thing. Today as I write this, I am proud to say that I am among a group of young people whose desire and passion for change is undying. Young people who saw a mountain and didn’t see failure, but saw possibility and opportunity. Young people who saw the efforts of those that came before them, and instead of letting them diminish, we’ve made it our responsibility to carry their legacy, and with that, we have made our own.

We have made our place in this world clear. When the world is stuck in the dark, our empathy and longing to better ourselves and those around us has shaken the tables and turned them to face the light. My generation has broken the status quo that all this time has been defined by greed and inequality, and has shaped it to be one filled with generosity and equality. 

We are taking up space, and let me tell you, this is just the beginning. The youth are leading, and we are just getting started.

// Happy International Youth Day. I hope you too are as proud of us as I am! We’ve done so much for ourselves and the world, and never before has the world seen a group of people that are so selfless and courageous. We’ve led protests, we’re innovators, artists, writers, activists, policy makers. What can’t we do? I am inspired everyday by my fellow youth. Here’s to the generation that knows what they deserve. A generation that takes what they deserve, and finally, a generation whose dreams don’t just stop as dreams, but whose dreams become the very reason they get up in the morning. Because we dream too big to let them go unaccomplished.




Originally published on UNICEF's Voices of Youth