16 June is South Africa’s official Youth Day. It’s a day when we remember the young lives that were lost in the struggle for freedom. It is a day that is widely anticipated and celebrated each year, but many young people just see it as a public holiday and so a day to either stay home away from school or a day to chill with friends. This week I want to share with you some ideas of things that you can do for this youth day or youth month that are educational and also enriching.

Museums – everyone should make time for a trip to a local museum. We are privileged in South Africa to have so many museums and I think that our young people do not visit them enough. Recently I have made it a point to visit at least one or two museums a month. You can learn so much from them as they record life as it once was and they also help you have a better understanding of why certain things work the way they do today. For youth month, you can visit the many centres that talk about the struggle that the youth went through and so have an even better appreciation of Youth Day.

Library – Your local library is not just a building with books; it can be a magical world for you if you let it. There are so many books that have been written about the youth of this country and many other countries, and the struggle and triumphs that many have gone through. These books are inspirational. Visit your local library and take some books home to read for Youth Day instead of chilling at home being bored. I personally love my local library and I visit the library at least once a week to get some new books or movies. You can also request books if your local library doesn’t have them in stock and they can get them for you…. I mean how nice is that? #Loveit

Youth centres – There are various youth centres across the country and many of them even have space for volunteers, so why not see if you can volunteer at one of them. You can learn so much from other young people that you will meet; you don’t even have to volunteer – just spending a day there to learn about the work they do can be useful to you. So try it and see how that goes as part of your contribution for Youth Day.

Volunteer work – This is something that most young people straight out of university or even while still at school can do. Volunteering is a fun way to develop skills, add valuable experience onto your CV and also add more depth to yourself. Volunteering is like a stepping stone towards the career you want, so do as much volunteer work that you can. If you can, the best thing is to select work that is in line with the type of career you wish to follow one day.

Also, you can create your own volunteer work just for Youth Day. For example: ask your friends to help clean your local park, ask to volunteer at your local library to read books to younger children, visit an old age home or an old person who may need some help, and so on. There are endless possibilities with what you can do as a volunteer and it doesn’t have to be for six months, it can even be for a day.

Stay alert – Always keep a lookout for events and activities that might be happening in your area, especially because this is youth month. Keep checking your social media accounts for events that are coming up and if you have an idea for an event, see if you can get help to organise it.

So don’t just chill at home and be bored, go out and try new things!

I hope you have found this blog useful and please share with us what you plan on doing for Youth month. #HappyYouthDay2017

Written by Phoebe Sibomana