It all started during the 2014 national elections when a group of young people working at LivityAfrica tried to wrap their heads around this question: “How do we get young people to vote in the elections?” At that time, there was a lot of voter apathy among the youth, and the team tried to figure out a way around this.
That is how the VIP (Voting Is Power) campaign was born. Through it, we were able to help amply the voices of young people around the country around the elections and why it’s important to vote. After the elections, the debates and articles continued. When the local government elections arrived this year, the stage in the evolution of VIP began, namely #2X.
Let us help you to debate, connect and act on issues that are important to you
Through debates, activations, social media, TV ads and word of mouth, we not only helped amplify the voices of young people but also had them engaging directly with politicians on these issues. One such example is our parliament challenge that saw Pontsho Pilane presenting her issue on access to sanitary pads to parliament.
Now the that both the 2014 national elections and the 2016 local government elections are behind us, we look toward the 2019 national elections. But what happens in the meantime? This is where Project Demo comes in. As Livity Africa, we do not believe that the work stops as soon as the elections end. Young people still face many issues in this country from youth unemployment, access to healthcare, education and many others. But where can young people voice those issues and more importantly, how do we make sure that local and national government ministers are held accountable?
This campaign exists to address the societal barriers facing South Africa’s youth.
Project Demo’s aim is to close the feedback loop between young people and policy-makers in formal democratic processes, in order to effect real change. Project Demo will help young people channel change that needs to happen for them to thrive in their communities. We will help surface critical voices from young people across South Africa, and create noise around their issues. We will amplify and spread their stories across youth platforms and media partners.
Current and future activists will be supported to gain traction for their issues – from building relationships with national parliament to provincial legislature. We will help decode and demystify how decision-makers can be accessed. We want to ultimately increase the sense of agency among young people and help improve responsiveness and performance of government institutions on youth-specific issues.
But in order to do this, we need you, the young people of South Africa to submit your issues so we can help get the necessary action from policy-makers.
Visit our website www.projectdemo.org.za to submit your issues.