DRUGS and addiction, bullying, job opportunities in the region, binge drinking and domestic violence have been identified as the five main issues affecting Central Highlands youth, during the CQUniversity Youth Connect Indaba.
Held at CQUniversity's Emerald Campus, the inaugural Youth Connect Indaba aimed to gather feedback from the 35 participants from the Central Highlands, aged 14-25 years, to discover what issues they care about and hear their experiences of life in the Central Highlands.
An Indaba is an South African Indigenous term used to describe a gathering or meeting - where people come together to address some of the problems that affect them all, where everyone has a voice, and where there is an attempt to find a common mind or story that everyone is able to tell when they leave.
CQUniversity Acting Associate Vice-Chancellor Central Highlands Region Gai Sypher said CQUniversity believed all decision-makers should be listening and speaking directly to young people about their needs and aspirations, as well as what they could contribute to the local community today and into the future in all areas of life.
"From the information shared at the Youth Connect Indaba, a report has been generated, identifying the key issues. We hope this report will used by the community to support these important conversations,” she said.
"A panel discussion provided firsthand insight into how youth view life in the Central Highlands and several opportunities were identified, including greater engagement with older youth (18-24 year olds), identifying and co-ordinating volunteering opportunities as a pathway to future employment, and increased educational pathways in the region,” she said.
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