In Johannesburg, where I’m from, most of the population are just trying to make ends meet.
In the past, young people would often look for work with factory bosses.
That’s not really the case anymore.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is here.
The era of the conventional ‘9 to 5’ is slowly being replaced, and a lot of people now desire to become entrepreneurs.
However, many young South Africans don’t have the skills needed to navigate the digital world in order to set up a business, or even access jobs and educational opportunities.
I want to help them.
This is why I’m taking part in the Youth Power Hacks.
In my country, there is a lot of inequality between young people in terms of digital literacy – which I believe can be linked to whether you attended a private school or a public school. This difference can have a big impact on young people’s job prospects and their ability to start their own businesses.
While most young people in private schools are already learning via tablets and smartphone apps, many public schools still face challenges with the very basics – like not having enough textbooks or learning materials for each student. Most public schools don’t even have enough desks and chairs to accommodate all learners, with public schools based in rural areas having even more challenges with supplies than schools located in cities.
When students from public schools do successfully finish their final year, they often aren’t in a position to apply for decent jobs or higher education – due to limited resources and exposure to opportunities.
I am inspired to help bring about change because I have lived experience of the issues that students face at public schools. I know what it feels like to grow up in an environment that makes it almost impossible to have optimism in terms of what comes next.
A few years ago, I actually almost gave up on my dreams to further my studies just because I didn’t know how to go through online application processes. I felt helpless and hopeless, and I think what made me the most sad was that I knew I was brilliant and had a lot of potential, I just had no support structure or guidance in terms of the internet of things.
Equipping young people with basic technical skills is incredibly important for their empowerment, which is why my team from the South Africa Hack decided to develop an idea focused on digital upskilling. This includes training and support on programs from Word and Excel, to how to fill out online application forms for courses, and giving young people resume tips.
Reaching the Global Goals is important to me because I know that if we can achieve them by 2030, generations to come will be well taken care of and they will have hope for a better future.
Over the past few months, the Youth Power Panel has been working with Restless Development, Project Everyone, and Unilever to deliver the Youth Power Hacks: six online hackathons held in six countries, bringing together hundreds of young people to hack solutions to help get the Global Goals delivered.