SOUTH AFRICA: Church Holds Virtual National Youth Day Celebrations

CAPE TOWN, JUNE 16, 2020 (CISA)-The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) Youth Office has held a virtual National Youth Day Celebrations.

“Youth Day is usually one of the biggest events in our year, and since it is being done digitally, we found no reason why we could not do it nationally and make it an inter-diocesan event. We will be incorporating videos and musicians from all over the nation,” said Dominique Yon assistant Youth Chaplain in the archdiocese of Cape Town and a member of the International Youth Advisory Body based in Vatican.

The event organized by SACBC in collaboration with the Catholic Archdiocese of Cape Town’s Youth ministry was presided over by Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town and livestreamed on the SACBC Youth and Young Adults Ministry Facebook page.

In his homily, Bishop Stanley Dziuba OSPPE of the Catholic diocese of Umzimkhulu advised youth to overcome evil by doing good and to become ambassadors of peace especially during this period of Covid-19, sentiments also echoed by Fr Mthembeni Dlamin the national youth chaplain of SACBC.

South Africa is on Covid-19 level three lockdown with most businesses, schools and churches allowed to operate although on a limited basis. This informed the organizers of the event to resort to online celebrations.

June 16 is a public holiday in South Africa derived from the Soweto Uprising of June 16, 1976.

This annual event recognizes the courage of protesters in Soweto, led mainly by high school students who demonstrated against the South African apartheid regime’s compulsory introduction of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in schools.

The Apartheid Police reacted to the protests with a brutal crackdown setting-off a wave of protests and violent conflicts across South Africa. Twenty-three students were shot at by the Police, on the day. In all the death toll is generally given as 176.