Young People With Vision
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I recently attended a launch for a NGO called Young People With Vision (YPWV), the dream of a 14-year-old young lady, whom I am honoured to call friend.
Young People With Vision was initiated for the sole purpose of giving youth the opportunity to do good. “I’ve always said that I will prove that young people really are the future. And a good one too. Because with all the bad in this country [RSA], people need hope. Something I learnt about myself and my team is that creating a smile where there is an absence thereof, takes preference over sustaining my own” - Amy Joggam (14), Founder of YPWV.
As I sat through the event, so many things went through my mind. You see, sometimes we don’t fully comprehend how our actions affect others, how our behaviour, something we do or say, can have the greatest influence on those around us. It can spark an idea or hidden passion. Every action, no matter how small it may seem makes an impact, whether we realise it or not.
As I listened to the story of how YPWV was birthed, surrounded by young people who not only want to see change in the world, but who want to be the change they want to see, I was reminded of who I am and why I am on this Earth. It made that flame of passion to create a better world, burn even brighter inside of me. I found my voice again.
Another young lady shared her story of being sexually abused when she was just a little girl and how that violation resulted in her attempt at suicide, but more importantly, how she overcame every challenge she was faced with and still lives her best life today. She encourages young people to refuse to be defined by their circumstances and be more than what they are expected to be. If I forgot for even a moment what strength and courage our young women, our young men ... our young people possess, then on that day I was reminded.
We are on the brink of entering a new year. Dear world, it is almost 2018 and NEWSFLASH – we no longer get to use the excuse that “I’m too young” or “what do I know? I am only a teen.” No longer do we get a free pass to look to the government, organizations, community leaders and the likes, to make the world everything we want it to be.
We are young, and it is about time that we are accountable for the future world we are creating; our future world. Challenge yourself. Be your own NGO. Let it start with you.
What the Voices Of Youth platform has taught me is that one does not need to throw money at a problem in order to make it disappear. Sometimes it takes words read by searching eyes to find your way when you no longer have direction; or the voice in a song heard by ears in need of hearing a promise of hope. Sometimes it takes a smile on the outside, a genuine smile, to touch the heart within...right down to the soul.
It may need time given to someone who all their life has been told - “I’m too busy. I won’t have time to help you. Sorry.” It requires light, in a world being hidden in darkness. We no longer get to use excuses for not making a difference because you see, there simply are no excuses. There are times when we may feel as though we are not needed, that there is no place for us on this round ball of birth, death, and that journey in between we call life. But if we can smile at a stranger, or sing a song, or make someone laugh, then we are needed. Then we must have a place in this world.
It is the gifts we hold inside of us, that will help us fulfill our purpose. And as human beings, each of us are meant to make our world a happy home.
Never stop having a vision for the future. Visions lead to conversations. Conversations inspire ideas. Ideas cause action. Action creates change. Change makes for a better world.
Young people who have vision are more than dreamers who long to alleviate the ills of the world. Young people who have vision are the indestructible weapons we need to pave a prosperous future.
How much pain and suffering must we first endure, before we come to realise that?