YOUTH MONTH Opening Statement – Dr. Harlan Cloete

Written by on 2 June 2022

Be an Up-stander not a bystander – Stand with us

Today marks the beginning of Youth Month in our beloved Mzansi/South Africa. An acknowledgement of the youth of yesterday and a celebration of the young of today.

Recently a high school principal in Paarl shared the following with me, “ I am haunted by what I observe in our kids at school, the change took years , but it is here. And we will pay the price soon if community leaders do not come together. We need a platform to air what we live in our different spheres and then we need an action plan. One child. One school. One family at a time. One whoever whatever but together” “ she writes . She then makes and impassioned plea “Cant Radio KC facilitate such a meeting ?”

We know that the youth are under attack in South African and in our community. From what we observe and confirm, the young in our community face a struggle of a unemployment, gender based violence, breakdown in family, mental health, economic exclusion to name but a few. They continue to face an uncertain future. Unless we stand up. United Nations diplomat Sharon Power is credited for defining an Up-stander as one who speaks or acts in support of an individual or cause, particularly someone who intervenes on behalf of a person being attacked or bullied.

This month we are launching our Up-stander campaign. A call to be an Up-stander not a bystander.

We confirm and commit again to not only be Up-standers during the month of June but every day of the year in celebration of the resilient spirit of the youth who founded KC in Paarl close to 30 years ago. We will continue to use our various KC digital media platforms to celebrate and applaud the youth by focusing on their creative energy. To use our societal influence to unlock opportunities. Because we believe that there are thousands of people in our city that are walking around with keys that can unlock these stubborn doors of generational poverty.

Friends , we refuse to bystanders and choose to be UP-STANDERS and invite you in fact we plead with you to stand with us.

The children are the flowers and the reason for our fight.

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