This pandemic has increased the psychological risk factors such as anxiety, depression, interpersonal violence, and substance misuse, resulting in the reduction of the social functioning of young people. Additional vulnerabilities and stressful factors such as unemployment and access to income, opportunities for further education and training are demanding a societal response to strengthen the resilience of our youth.
The Department of Women, Youth, and Persons with Disabilities (DWYPD), in partnership with the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), supported by the German Development Cooperation through the GIZ Inclusive Violence and Crime Prevention Programme (VCP) 1 , recognize the serious and adverse socio-economic impacts of the Covid19 pandemic on young people and the urgent need for interventions to support them in coping with these effects. The partners are collaborating to support and promote the psychosocial well-being and resilience of youth in South Africa through what is proposed as a National Youth Resilience Initiative.
On the 16 June 2020, South Africa National Youth Day, and in commemoration of the historic Soweto Uprising of 1976 which was led by school learners, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed South Africa’s youth with the following call to action - “Young people must rise to the challenge of leading our recovery after the coronavirus.” He went on to elaborate that “this pandemic provides us with an opportunity to inject new perspectives into how we can turn our economy around, but also how we can reimagine our very society!”
The National Youth Resilience Initiative Ambassador Network responds to our president's call by inviting South African youth to embrace our national challenges through voluntary service as young ambassadors. Over a five-month period ending in June 2021, 50 ambassadors representing all 9 provinces will receive 4 virtual (online) workshops and 1 physical workshop to amplify your leadership and project-based skills.
The main purpose of the ambassador network is to build young leaders who are better equipped to understand and elevate the youth agendas of their local communities. Participation in this project requires (1) a high level of commitment to learn and act for the benefit of others [self-motivation] (2) to give of your time and to work in a voluntary capacity [selflessness] (3) a belief that new and creative ways of doing things can bring change [willingness] (4) readiness for immediate start on the project (5) you must be between the ages of 18 – 35.
Further information on the National Youth Resilience Initiative Ambassador Network can be found by clicking this link: https://wessa.cloudrecruit.io/job/NYRI22021 Deadline has been extended till the 1st of March.