41 years ago today a group of young people got up from their school desks and marched through the streets to demand change in a society that was not addressing their needs and requirements. What was intended as a peaceful march ended in the death of many of the marchers and became one of the turning points in our countries’ tumultuous history.
Today we commemorate their actions and celebrate the change in society they were striving to achieve. One of our aims as the Scouting Movement is to build and encourage our young people to become good citizens, to be leaders in their societies, and to use that leadership to drive possible change in their communities.
We may not all be facing the same challenges, but we all have to acknowledge the trials our young people face. Circumstances ranging from extreme poverty to abuse, from child headed homes to poor access to education and a lack of employment opportunities.
As Scouts, adults and youth, we know the potential and the energy our young South Africans possess. It is our duty to our country and fellow youth to nurture that potential and help them direct that energy to be agents of positive change in the world and perhaps, in our founders words “leave the world a better place than you found it!”
Alone, none of us can change the world, but, starting this Youth Day 2017, if we put our backs to the wheel and lead, inspire and educate our youth to achieve their full potential and be the best they can be – just imagine the difference we can make together!
Dr Brendon Hausberger
SCOUTS South Africa