This year, we commemorate the 47th anniversary of the historic 16 June 1976 student uprising in Soweto, a pivotal moment in South Africa’s history. It was a time when young people courageously protested against the imposition of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction by the apartheid regime. Tragically, this uprising ended with the loss of countless young lives. However, their sacrifice paved the way for change, and in 1994, the democratic government declared 16 June as Youth Day and June as Youth Month, honouring the contribution of the youth in the struggle for liberation.
Under the theme of “Accelerating collaborations and opportunities to improve the lives of the youth,” we celebrate Youth Month in 2023. At the Global Teachers Institute (GTI), we are dedicated to promoting and improving access to initial teacher education, particularly for marginalized and underserved populations. We recognize that education is a powerful tool for empowerment, and it is through education that we can create a brighter future for our youth.
One of our Future Leaders Programme involves placing intern teachers, who we call Future Leaders in remote areas and providing them with support in their journey towards becoming qualified teachers, as they study via long-distance learning towards their B.Ed Degree. These Future Leaders represent a new generation of capable and caring teachers, equipped with the attributes, attitudes, and abilities to give young people hope, relevant skills, and a worthwhile future. By ensuring access to decent work and economic inclusion, we strive to empower young minds to shape their own destinies.
At GTI, we firmly believe that equipping educators with the tools and knowledge to impart sustainable practices to their students is crucial for creating a sustainable future. By instilling environmental consciousness and social responsibility, we cultivate a generation of young leaders who understand the importance of sustainable development.
In addition to teacher training, we facilitate a mentorship programme that connect young people with experienced professionals in the field. These mentorship opportunities provide guidance, support, and invaluable networking connections, enabling our youth to navigate their chosen paths with confidence and ambition.
Moreover, we encourage our Future Leaders to embrace social innovation and entrepreneurship. Through their social development projects, they develop entrepreneurial skills that can foster economic growth and sustainability within their communities. By nurturing their innovative ideas, we empower young individuals to address social and environmental challenges, driving positive change from the ground up.
We are committed to accelerating collaborations and creating opportunities that truly improve the lives of the youth. We believe that education is a catalyst for change, and by investing in our Future Leaders, we invest in the sustainable future of our nation.
As we commemorate National Youth Day and Youth Month, let us come together to celebrate the resilience, creativity, and boundless potential of our youth. Together, we can create an inclusive society where every young person has access to quality education, economic opportunities, and the tools they need to thrive.