It Takes A Village ...
Is originally, an African proverb. We have all heard it and understand that raising children and the next generation requires multiple members of the community, such as extended family, teachers, mentors, surrogate family members and friends to support and help them develop. Parents are not enough, children need mentors, teachers, surrogate aunts, uncles, grandparents, go to people, to understand their place in the community, their role and identity.
The recent Covid -19 restrictions have separated us from these go to people putting all the weight on the parent/s. Creating quite a bit of stress on members of our community, in which everyone has been impacted.
If we look at it from the perspective of the next generation, predominately Youth and their social connections with their friends and peers was not available during the restrictions. So, the opportunity to share their experiences and grievances was lost during this period. Our health and wellbeing as social creatures are essential for living fully functional connected lives.
Our CEN Youth group that I have had the privilege to develop have shared with me the frustrations and suffering young people are facing. A middle-aged woman as I, has built the resilience and skills to manage the social isolation and find creative ways to connect with friends and family. This opportunity may not be readily accessible to many Youth.
Our CEN Youth group have been catching up regularly online, touching base and sharing experiences with each other, acknowledging that they are experiencing the same suffering not being able to connect, face to face with their friends and family. We are also planning a short hike (following the restriction guidelines) with a team building exercise for our next catch up.
It is important we try to understand how it must feel from their perspective to see the changes that are unfolding as a new system develops. Hence why Youth voices must be heard and supported as they will be inheriting this future we have already started to create.
Community is Everything
Hale Adasal CEN Chair