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What Does Safe Spaces Mean to You?

International Youth Day

In commemorating International Youth Day 2018 on August 12, many youth across the world are creating the change they want to see by being a part of positive events and networks around them. Contrary to that, other young people find themselves in unsafe environments and are involved in many social vices that break down the development of themselves and the society as a whole. This year, the theme for the International youth day is Safe Spaces for Youth.

What does Safe Spaces mean to you?

There are a lot of maneuvering spaces which are not totally inclusive of various/diverse people. The internet, which is a place most young people visit often, doesn’t feel safe anymore. There is, to some extent, the intrusion of one’s private space there. There is the need for internet safety and ethics. Here are what some young people describe as safe spaces:

A space where you get like minded people. -Barbara, Student.

A space that is devoid of rights abuse. -Chris, Social worker.

A space to discuss sexuality and Sexual reproductive health. -Nana, Student.

A space that does not disregard moral rights and cultural taboos and doesn’t promote violence. -Aisha, Accountant.

How do you create safe spaces for the youth?

Young people are mostly healthy and sound in spaces which are very accommodating. Such spaces include affordable housing, a healthy family life, hubs and co-working spaces, learning centers such as schools and community libraries, recreational centers such as theatres and sports complex, and many more. Young people should be aware of media literacy so that they can learn how to use social media wisely. On the internet, privacy settings must be rightfully set to ward off hackers and harmful people.

Conclusion

As young people, we must be conscious of our existence and choose our environment and friends carefully. We must be change makers who are willing to create safe spaces as mentioned above. We should attend helpful events and build strong positive networks of high achievers. Also, we should be bold to report people who make our spaces unsafe to the authorities. Do well to share in the comment section what safe spaces mean to you as a youth.

Photo credit: Youth Spark Pan African Conference

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6 comments

  1. Young people must indeed become media literate and they must have control over their spaces whether virtual or physical.

  2. I believe every young person is responsible for their digital path. You are responsible for your personal online safety.

    And community administrators have the added responsibility of ensure cyberbullying is dealt with.

    Thanks for the insightful article. Happy International Youth Day!

  3. A series I recently watched(Grownish), highlighted not only the need for safe spaces but the need to respect the safe spaces of others. You may not believe in someone’s sexual orientation but that doesn’t mean that you attack them.

  4. It’s funny however you can still learn from the most unexpected places. I got an appreciation for safe spaces from a TV series I recently watched(Grownish).
    It is also just not enough to encourage safe spaces but respect the safe spaces of others. For example you may not believe in someone’s sexual orientation but that doesn’t mean you should attack them or disregard their safe spaces.
    It is in our own interest not to worry only about our safe spaces but the safe spaces of others.

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