“We Have to Be Heard”

 

The Young are our future, but do we really always believe this?

We parents are probably happy to give our children roots to ensure a strong foundation, but what about the wings to help them fly out of the nest and into the world? Are we too sad to let them go? Is it difficult to give them the opportunity to become our future leaders? It’s not just parents, but everywhere it seems the young are not being recognised for their potential.  

At a high-level Global Conference on Health Promotion last November, a young Zimbabwean singer became acutely aware of this. “Where are the youth?” he asked; “Why are we not part of these global health discussions?” It inspired him to turn these thoughts overnight into a poem. 

From the Youth of Today

We have to be heard
It’s not what we demand, it’s what we deserve.

We have something to say…

We are the leaders of the future,
We are the Youth of Today.

Discussing topics for the 2030 agenda to gender equality,
child obesity and having the decency to see that women deserve to be treated equally

We need fair wages for people of all ages
Give us the knowledge and allow us to make changes

We the youth, we choose to choose health
Because instead of perpetual sorrow
We choose to choose help

We didn’t come all this way to leave this world the same
We have the Power to be impactful in a different way

Whether it’s Patrick Mwesigye in Uganda on a God-given mission
to see someone’s situation turn out different than his sister’s

Or Sara Rodgers in her ways, on a wave, trail blazing the way
because she knows there’s a path to be paved

We are the leaders of the future
We are the leaders of today
Give us the tools

In this era of innovation
Introducing the new school

Allow us the opportunity to make a change
We are the leaders of the future
We are the leaders of today

Poem by Kudzanai O. Munodawafa

Kudzanai is a singer and songwriter in New York.

Introduction by Joanna Koch

Illustration by Laura Munteanu

Laura studied journalism and advertising, and has worked as a journalist and an illustrator. She has illustrated for magazines, websites, charities and diverse campaigns. She lives in Zurich with her husband and nine-year-old daughter.

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