By LYNDA VAN KEMPEN
Central Otago youth are having their say and making their voices count.
The Alexandra Junior Youth Forum is taking the theme for this year’s national Youth Week literally.
The week began on May 26 with the theme “Our voices count; count our voices”.
The year 8 pupils from Alexandra and Clyde schools have taken up the challenge and are quizzing their counterparts and creating a video outlining the opinions of year 6 to 13 pupils.
They are asking young people three questions and recording the answers on a video which will be uploaded to YouTube and shared on the group’s Facebook page. There will be a public screening of the video at the youth base in Alexandra on Monday, August 7.
The questions are:
1. If you were to create an ideal community, what would it look like?
2. As a young person, what role could you play in making an ideal community happen?
3. If there was anything you could tell the adults to help them understand what the life of a young person is like in 2017, what would it be?
“This video will make sure our voices are counting and it’ll be interesting to show all the different answers,” Ethan Knights said.
The teenagers will record and edit the video, carrying out the whole process themselves.
After the results are collated, they will be conveyed to Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan and used for the youth forum’s planning.
The forum is made up of young people selected by their schools because of their leadership skills. They get together regularly and the forum aims to support and grow those leadership skills. The group works on various projects and giving youth a voice in the community.
It is also involved in World Environment Week activities in Central Otago and will host a screening of the movie Bag It at the youth base on June 10, at 6.30pm. The movie is about an “average” man who makes a pledge to stop using plastic bags at the grocery store and how his life changes as a result.
Anyone interested in attending should book through Central Otago Reap.
Forum member Bridget Mullally (12) said the group supported the use of recyclable grocery bags.
“Basically, there’s so much plastic waste around the world and we want to improve things and make this community the best it can be,” she said.
Earlier in the year, the forum also staged a newcomers’ disco for youth new to the district.