Alex youths received motivation to help them fulfil their potential and withstand challenges later in life.
This was said by speakers at the Alex Community Health Centre while commemorating Youth Month under the theme, Be the change you want to be.
They focused on strengthening youth’s coping mechanisms against social ills, peer pressure and materialism, saying it made them envious of others causing them to resort to crime in order to fit in. They encouraged them to rely on their innate potential for success by adopting positive principles and attitudes.
Motivational speaker Palesa Nsingo reminded them that they have no replica and are their own saviours against any challenges. “You should remain strong and know that you are capable and smart,” Nsingo said urging them to repeat these words every morning despite their challenging circumstances.
“To be an achiever, set and work towards a goal which will preoccupy you positively and leave no space for deception and negative influences. Love yourself with passion and stop chasing fashion and trying to emulate others who don’t care about you.”
She advised against material wealth as a measure of success. “You will be judged by your positive impact on yourself and others, meaningful and genuine relations you have with them and the love you spread in society.” She told the youth to believe anything is possible and to never give up trying. Also, she discouraged their ‘addiction’ to social media saying it robbed them of the precious time they should spend, including in meditation, to gain inner peace.
Molele Zwane of non-profit organisation Annova which provides post-violence, forensic medico-legal services, advised them to know their worth as future leaders. “Don’t let negative conditions circumvent your dreams,” she said in reference to rape and other sexual, physical and emotional abuse including from within the family.
“Know when your rights have been violated and confide in medical staff when afraid to report to the police and you will be helped to report the crime.” This, she said, includes violent reactions from boyfriends after saying no when they demand to have sex, and in cases of incest by relatives who claim sex with them as part of a family ritual.
Her colleague Nyakallo Chauke urged parents to support boy and girl victims of sexual abuse. “It will strengthen their coping skills provided through counselling and discourage them from self-harm and feelings of suicide.”
She encouraged them to use contraceptives which are freely available at most clinics to protect themselves from infections and unintended pregnancies and exploitation by blessers who ruin their lives.
Officer Ayanda Mbewu of Joburg Metro Police Department urged the youth to be law abiding and to not bribe officers. “Refrain from violence and destruction of your community’s property to avoid having criminal records which are unwanted by prospective employers.
Details: Sandile Gwayi, Provincial Department of Health 082 926 0161.