Imagine a place where young people from different locations and races from all over the world come together as one. Young people who take action for the world they are living in, who don’t sit back and complain but rather seek solutions in order to eradicate poverty and unemployment. Young people who are making a change not only in their communities, but in their countries.
One Young World is an organisation that allows young people from different countries to meet together in a certain country to discuss different issues that are faced among the youth. South Africa had a great privilege of hosting this amazing opportunity. The opening night of the summit took place at FNB stadium on the 3 October, where hundreds of different nations gathered together. The opening night started with the Soweto Gospel Choir, who sang the national anthem, followed by speakers such as Kofi Annan, Bob Gedolf and Muhammad Yunus.
“You are the smartest generation we have ever had,” said Kofi Annan when he delivered a very powerful speech that inspired young people all across the stadium. Some moments in his speech were breathtaking, because for a great leader like him to have such faith in our young generation is truly an honour.
The stage looked amazing when the young people placed their different flags. All the diverse colours and flags represented the unity of each country coming together to agree upon the issues that the world is facing on a global scale.
Poverty is an issue that affects every country in various ways. “Nobody in the world should be called a poor person,” said Muhammed Yunis when he argued that no one should suffer from unemployment or hunger.
Bob Gedolf is not only a talented singer but an activist who believes that young people should take a stand not only in economic issues but they should also educate themselves about climate change. He expressed his opinions in a manner which forced young people to sit up straight on their seats and listen attentively. “The problems we face are global. The flags mean nothing if you don’t leave this place without the mind of a leader,” said Bob.
As a young person you need to ask yourself are you doing enough for your country? Are you challenging your mindset on a daily basis and what is your contribution to the world that we are living in? When young people understand the urgency of taking charge of the different issues that affect them, this allows them to become leaders for the next generation. The One Young World Summit has given young people a chance to look beyond their differences and to unite together to form solutions that will make this world a better place.
Photography: Siya Mkhasibe