Youth Day 16 June 2023
The Israeli youth are the future of the State of Israel! What they do today will shape their future and in turn the land of Israel. So, it is up to us, at the Women’s International Zionist Organisation (WIZO), to ensure that those children that need us the most are nurtured and given the best start in their lives to carry on and be moral and effective citizens.
South Africa celebrates Youth Day on the 16th of June to commemorate the Soweto youth uprising that occurred on this day in 1976, 47 years ago. A decree was handed down by the Bantu Education Department that Afrikaans had to be used with English as a language of instruction in schools. Unhappy and aggrieved African students protested this by marching peacefully to demonstrate against the government’s directive but were met by heavily armed police which resulted in huge tragedies. Youth day, and subsequently youth month, serves as a reminder of the progress South Africa has made since then regarding equal opportunity for all youth.
While celebrating this special day with your friends and families let’s turn our thoughts to the Israeli youth, the future leaders of our Israel. WIZO ensures that all youth that may have had their lives compromised in some way, be given equal opportunity and an optimistic start in life.
Consequently, WIZO operates five youth villages that consist of high schools, boarding schools and agricultural farms as well as two schools for vocational training and special education. Here these young students learn life skills whilst at the same time receiving their primary education.
WIZO also provides three emergency centres where high-risk children have access to the care and therapy that they need to rehabilitate as well as two safe homes for the treatment and reintegration of girls at-risk. WIZO continues to do what matters by providing safe spaces for these young people so that they can improve themselves as they are the foundation of the future of Israel.
WIZO also runs ten foster family homes for those children who have been removed from unhealthy home conditions and are then placed in a loving and caring environment where they are given the opportunity to prosper. WIZO South Africa has been responsible for the building and development of some of these foster family homes. It is wonderful to know that we have been a big part of this but we do have to continue to maintain them. There are dozens more programs including a boarding school for those children who require post hospitalisation.
We are grateful that, with your support, WIZO continues to provide these excellent opportunities for the youth of Israel, however we also need to continue to support our young people here in South Africa. By donating towards our local WIZO outreach projects we are assisting in educating our less advantaged youth and attempting to uplift those in desperate need giving them an opportunity for a brighter future too. One of our WIZO South Africa projects, called Wheelchairs of Hope, gives those young people in need the gift of mobility, easing their lives and the lives of their families. It puts a big smile on their faces and is so gratifying to all of us. This is priceless! We rely on your support to continue this incredible project.
WIZO South Africa joins me in wishing you all a happy Youth Day and to our MIZO’s (Men’s International Zionist Organisation), a very happy Father’s Day on Sunday, 18 June.
President, WIZO South Africa