YOUTH EMPOWERMENT BEGINS WITH THE YOUTH LEARNING THEIR RIGHTS, ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Tuesday, 30 October 2018

30 October 2018: Robust dialogues took place in the Free State, Northern Cape and North West where more than 1000 youth have congregated for week-long camps in observation of the Annual Youth Camps hosted by the Department of Social Development in partnership with the Department of Defence (DOD).

Today’s programme kicked-off at 5am when the youth received their wake up calls from members of the DOD to clean their bungalows, shower and start their daily exercise regime.

The Youth Camp participants also went through a series of health screenings administered by the Department of Health to ensure that their fitness levels were on par with the planned camp programme.

Launched in 2012, the Annual Youth Camps have facilitated over 10 000 young people and they give the youth the platform to engage on, and find shared solutions to, issues that they are experiencing in their communities.

At the North West Military Base where 350 youth are congregating, the day’s proceedings included talks on:

• Personal development

• Leadership and communication skills

• The status of youth in the province

• Sexual health and reproductive rights and awareness

• Anti-Substance abuse prevention

Dr Veronica Rampagane, who spoke to the participants on the state of sexual reproductive health and rights among the youth expressed the importance of them using their rights responsibly. “You must know that as an individual and a human, it is expected that you may one day be sexually active but you need to know what your responsibilities in that avenue are. It is important to know when the right time to be sexually active is. You need to know that you have the right to say no when you are not ready, to say no if there is no protection or if you are not comfortable with the dynamics of the relationship and most importantly, to say no to rape,” she said.

Dr Rampagane emphasised to young girls on the camp the importance of the use of contraceptive methods when they are not yet ready to fall victim to teenage pregnancy. “It is your right to receive contraceptives from Government clinics. It is your responsibility to ensure that you collect your pills on scheduled dates and take them as prescribed. Abusing your rights to services offered to you is not correct. No one should ever abuse their rights,” she said.

In Kimberley, the MEC responsible for Social Development in the Northern Cape Province, Mr Gift van Staden, reminded the congregants that they play a vital role in moving the country forward. “Two of the places where you can find discipline and patriotism are within the church and in the army. These two characteristics are needed for any nation in order for it to move in one direction,” said the MEC.

He urged the youth to ensure that the lessons they attained during the camp were not only for personal consumption but are also to be used to encourage peers who could not attend the camp.

The former SRC President of the University of Free State - Sikhululekile (SK) Luwara, told the youth in the Free State to never allow their current circumstances to determine their future. "Your background must not define you. In fact, you have a story to tell! We all have a similar vision as that of Mama Albertina Sisulu and Tata Nelson Mandela – a vision for success. Capacitate yourself. Learn, unlearn and relearn,” he said.

The Annual Youth Camps form part of Social Development Month activities which take place during the month of October where the Department reaches out to interact with poor citizens across the country to address the triple challenge of Poverty, Unemployment and Inequality.

The current Youth Camps are taking place under the theme, “Be the Legacy: A Generation of Youth That Will End Gender-Based Violence”, and will be continuing until 03 November 2018.

Some of the subjects that will be addressed during this round of the camps include Social Cohesion; Non Racialism; Xenophobia; Gender-Based Violence; Communicable Diseases; Substance Abuse and the role of youth in developing the South African economy.

Members of the media are invited to join the Youth Camps which will run until 03 November scheduled as follows:

Free State

Time: 09:00

Venue: 1 Special Service Battalion, Bloemfontein

Northern Cape

Time: 09:00

Venue: Air Defence Artillery School, Kimberley

North West

Time: 09:00

Venue: Department of Defence SA Air Defence, 4 Artillery Regiment, Potchefstroom

Media can RSVP to Mr Jaconia Kobue on 063 249 5120 / This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or Mr Justice Malapane on 066 480 6849 / This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

Media inquiries may be directed to Ms Lumka Oliphant on 083 484 8067 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it