Students and Youth Working on Reproductive Health Action Team (SAYWHAT) joins the international community in celebrating the International Youth Day. Celebrated each year on the 12th of August, this year’s celebrations mark 21 years of recognition of the International Youth Day since the year 2000.

Apply themed, “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health,” aimed at highlighting the success of a global effort will not be achieved without the meaningful participation of young people. This theme further touches on yet another aspect that concerns youth welfare, which is climate change, as young people across the globe in bringing climate and planetary health to people`s attention particularly world leaders and businesses that contribute to this problem have been actively involved.

For SAYWHAT, this year’s commemorations come at a time when the voices of young people need to be amplified and listened to. This day should be a reminder of the gains that have been made in ensuring that young people lead healthy lives. A healthy life starts with the realization of young people`s rights which matter and mold a better society.

Through youth education, engagement, innovation and entrepreneurial solutions, this year’s International Youth Day aims to provide a platform for young people to continue the momentum in ensuring that they make meaningful contributions in society. For SAYWHAT, it`s crucial to celebrate this day and realize the difficulties that young people face.

This is a day that comes when the international community is still battling with COVID-19, with most young people in Zimbabwe being self-employed. The re-introduction of lockdown measures has cripples sources of income for young people. Masking up, sanitization and maintaining social distance should always be adhered to in ensuring that young people`s health is not compromised. The International Youth Day points us to the need of coming together to address problems faced by youths and work towards finding solutions for these problems. Young people have the power and responsibility to make positive changes for themselves and future generations.

For SAYWHAT, the International Youth Day serves as another reminder that little action is being taken to protect the youth in our society but more than that, it serves as an alarm to the rest of the world to hear, empower, and protect the youth particularly the girl child.  

As we commemorate this day, SAYWHAT calls for the government, policy makers, leaders, likeminded partners and stakeholders to realize the power of education, knowledge and opportunity creation so that youths can be given the chance to move upward in life, free from poverty and mental oppression.

To the young people, the power is in our hands, and if we work together hand in glove, we can become an international society of young people who are brilliant, resilient and healthy in all aspects, physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally.

                                                                    It all starts with us.

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