Why the citizens of the world should care
By Hope Moloi, who is part of the Global Citizen Fellowship Program 2020.
Young people in South Africa face disproportionate challenges in finding employment – with an unemployment rate among 15-34 year olds over 43% in the first quarter of this year.
According to Statistics South Africa (StatsSA), many young job seekers in the country struggle with a lack of education, sufficient skills and prior work experience required by employers.
The economy demands skilled and experienced workers, which makes it difficult and decreases the chances of young people finding a job. As a result, young people lose all hope of ever finding a job. And without a job, young people end up having a poor quality of life.
With a vision of hope in mind, Farai Mubaiwa is a young visionary who works to improve skills and empower young people in South Africa to make them employable.
“Empowering youth has been my biggest passion and focal point, especially empowering young black Africans and especially women,” she told Global Citizen.
Farai is the co-founder of the Africa Matters Initiative, which is a youth-led organization committed to educating and motivating African youth especially women and girls to change their communities and the African narrative through leadership, social entrepreneurship and advocacy.
The initiative was formed in response to the lack of media coverage of African lives compared to their Western counterparts, and the negative narrative that Africa is poor and stricken.
“For too long, Africa has been described as the dark continent with no prospect of economic growth or a decent life,” Mubaiwa said. “The millions of young people born in Africa are nurtured by this same negative narrative, which is reflected in the search for greener pastures in other countries. This negative narrative is exacerbated by the media. We aim to change that.
So far, the initiative has impacted the lives of over 18,000 young Africans through its School Leadership Development Program, Youth Leadership Development Program and Africa Matters Ambassador Program, a Mubaiwa said.
In addition to this, the Africa Matters Initiative also organizes events such as networking evenings, workshops on African leadership and women’s empowerment, school conferences on youth empowerment and annual summits titled “Towards a Better Africa ”.
“I love the interaction, hearing people’s stories and seeing what I can do to help grow the African continent around us,” says Mubaiwa, as she talks about her love for working with local people. youth. “This is what African Matters is focused on, this is youth engagement, this is about creating pathways to empower young people and create a better Africa.
In 2017, she received the Queen’s Young Leaders Award for her work to empower young people through the Africa Matters Initiative.
“I do the work I do because it contributes to a greater Africa,” she explains. Africa can reach its greatest potential. “
Importantly, Mubaiwa also played an influential role in the #EndRapeCulture movement at Stellenbosch University. There, she participated in protests, presented memoranda and facilitated workshops on rape culture.
“It’s sad that we have to resort to the steps for something as serious as this,” she said. “How many steps? How many hashtags? How many more deaths before something is done? The way we operate needs to become more engaging with young people. I hope we will change. Gender equality is necessary for both sexes. “
“I was able to be part of a group of women who made our community aware of rape,” she continues. “We have taught many people about the dangers of degradation and the fear that South African women constantly feel. “
Mubaiwa strongly believes in the power of African youth and is committed to raising as many people as possible to ensure a better future for the continent.
“Africa is empowered because a young population, if empowered, can tackle Africa’s challenges head first and make tangible changes in our society while inclusive leading to a better society,” Mubaiwa said.
“World leaders are getting younger,” she adds. “Through my work, I am able to reach masses of young people to encourage them not to wait. We cannot yet say ‘I will wait until I am older’ before making tangible changes in our communities. We young people cannot afford to wait any longer, our communities need us now.
Powered by BeyGOOD, the Global Citizen Fellowship Program uncovers African youth with remarkable potential. Thanks to the program, 10 young people will each engage in a one-year paid scholarship aligned with one of Global Citizen’s four pillars of activity: creation, campaigns, rewards and marketing. You can read more about the Global Citizen Fellowship Program here.