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Pivot, don’t pause youth work
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Pivot, don’t pause youth work

Those who work to make the lives of the youth better socially, educationally, economically and politically cannot afford to have their work halted because of the pandemic. That’s the argument presented by Natecia Garraway, a 28-year-old Commonwealth Correspondent from Guyana. In her rallying cry to youth workers and youth advocates, she encourages them to reorganize themselves and to keep serving young people.

Who knew two years ago that the world would have experienced such an abrupt change? Well, it did, and here we are trying to pick ourselves up again to a level of normalcy! But that’s the thing, can we truly return to normalcy as we know it? I figure not, that is why we must realign ourselves to perform in the new normal.

When this pandemic hit us, youth activists and advocates, it disrupted our planned schedule and even forced us to completely stop our work, especially those physical activities. Speaking from my own grassroots level of experience, we came to a halt trying to figure out what’s next. How do we deal with the various issues faced by young people in a pandemic while staying safe?

Well, this is where the crucial skill of adaptation comes in! The ability to adapt to changes whether big or small is a vital one in light of COVID-19. Because the fact is, despite the pandemic, young people are still in need of our services, right? The issues faced prior did not just disappear, if anything it may have just gotten worse! So, this is when they need us more than ever, our campaigns, our voices, our services!

That is why it’s important to take the time to realign our advocacy and consider all COVID-19 protocols so that we can still make an impact. If you are an individual or organization that has paused working for your cause, this is encouragement for you to continue in 2022. Young people in your community, your country and our world need you and what you do, so don’t give up now, just realign and try again!

Staying committed to the cause is not always an easy task, especially when we have our struggles, but as youth workers, we must be disciplined and dedicated to our mission. Of course, we should not neglect ourselves when we need to rest but we must get back to work again after this.

Thank you to all individuals and organizations involved in youth work that kept going through the pandemic,  I wish you all continued success in 2022!

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Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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About Natecia Garraway: I am interested in writing, life coaching, entrepreneurship and volunteerism for positive change in community and youth development. My current occupation is as a Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Officer in an organization that provides training free of cost for youths in at-risk conditions across the country. I aspire to be a creative entrepreneur and build generational financial freedom.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles

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