This year Youth Day is being commemorated under extraordinary circumstances. The youth of 2020 will be remembered as the generation who had to contend with the devastating impacts of Covid-19. Now, more than ever, is the time for the youth to stand together. To empower themselves. And to overcome the challenges facing them.

As a distance learning college, Oxbridge Academy is very aware of the challenges facing the youth of today. Almost every day, we listen to the obstacles faced by the youth of South Africa. Stories about the struggles to find a job, to make ends meet, and to strive for a better future. With the challenges brought about by Covid-19, the youth of today can be compared to the courageous youth who in 1976 fought against the apartheid system.

Fighting a different fight this Youth Day

On this day in 1976, the youth stood up to a very visible and formidable enemy. Their sacrifices made a huge contribution towards the end of the apartheid system. On Youth Day in 2020, the youth face the biggest challenges of any generation in democratic South Africa. They also have a formidable battle to fight — this time against the invisible enemy of Covid-19. Youth unemployment was already extremely high before the arrival of the virus, and this situation will likely become worse against the background of Covid-19 and lockdown. But as a member of the youth, you should never lose hope. If you stand together, work hard and find ways to empower yourself, then you can overcome the obstacles that stand in your path!

Be at the frontlines of fighting Covid-19

The youth can play an active role in winning the battle against Covid-19. Dr Nokukhanya Khanyile, herself only 28 years old, works in public healthcare in Gauteng. She explains that contrary to popular belief, doctors are in fact the last line of defence in fighting Covid-19:

“It is actually members of the public who are the first line of defence. As a member of the youth particularly, you have the power to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and protect the vulnerable members of society. By practising good hygiene and social distancing, and also educating other people about the dangers of the virus, you can stop the spread and prevent people from becoming sick.”

Overcoming the challenges of youth unemployment

There is no doubt that the youth are dramatically affected by the economic impacts of Covid-19. Youth employment is currently concentrated in the sectors that have been most heavily impacted by the pandemic, such as hospitality and tourism. The International Labour Organization has identified the global emergence of a “lockdown generation” of youth who have been affected by retrenchments and job losses. This adds to a youth unemployment rate in South Africa which was already well above 50% before the arrival of Covid-19.

But, you should not allow these depressing statistics to steal your hope. There are still opportunities for you to empower yourself during these trying times and to build up towards a brighter future.

Distance learning and other solutions

Covid-19 has majorly shifted education worldwide. It has quickly reminded us of the potential of distance learning to allow students to continue with their studies. Distance learning certainly offers an ideal solution, especially for students who are unable to gain access to university. If you need a reminder of why you should consider distance learning, then read our blog article on the benefits of distance learning.

We recommend that you also consider other solutions, such as:

  • Volunteering at companies to build up practical experience.
  • Starting your own small business to earn an income while studying.
  • Taking advantage of any free learning opportunities!
  • Becoming more involved in your community. You can learn valuable skills by becoming involved in the running of community organisations such as churches, sports clubs or non-profit organisations.

By working hard to build up a combination of knowledge, skills and practical experience, you can overcome the challenges of modern-day life!

We acknowledge the immense challenges faced by the youth of 2020 this Youth Day. And we’re ready to hold your hand as you seek to overcome these challenges. If you’re interested in studying through distance learning, then have a look at our distance learning courses. We’re always available to answer any questions you might have, and to help you find the perfect course for YOU!