By Larry Crisp
What will a country be without the youth, they are the future after all. We have experienced how every generation does things in their own special way.
I belong to the generation where you kept your mouth shut when grown ups talk. We were taught to make up our beds and wash dishes at a very young age. Our curfew was the sun and not whatever time we were told to be indoors. The folks back then definitely did not spare the rod and very few of us got spoiled. Take away was a luxury not experienced often and when it did come it was very memorable.
Today’s youth just brag different as like to say. When you shout at them for not doing their chores they are quick to tell you about their rights and how abusive you are towards them. At times I wish I can put them all in a time machine just so they can realise how easy most of them have it these days.
We can however not put all the blame on the youth because we are the new generation of parents and how we raise them makes all the difference. Back in the day there were few career choices that parents glorified and wanted their offspring to enter into, pilot and doctor being top of the list. These days there are so many different choices some traditional and some not as we have witnessed with the boom in social media influencers.
There are various avenues these days that youth can explore one of them being a career in water. With all the bad press observed regarding water challenges it would be opportune for youth to venture into this sector. The sector needs young minds with a fresh perspective and vigour to resolve issues the country is facing. From lack of water, to water contamination even looking into resolving sanitation issues.
The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) offer various opportunities in the form of bursaries for youth interested in doing studies related to water and forms can be accessed through the DWS website as well as DWS offices. The department annually also run competitions from primary school grades up till high school where learners can win an array of prices for themselves and their school as well as bursaries for themselves in the high school competitions. The competitions are named Baswa le Meetse for the primary schools, Aqua Enduro, South African Youth Water Prize and Debate for the high school learners. These high school learners also have the opportunity to compete in Sweden Stokholm if they are the victors at the national level of these competitions.
The department saw it prudent to invest in the youth as they are without a doubt the future of our water resources.