#YouthKeStarring campaign to tackle health and mental wellbeing via social media
The Wits University Perinatal HIV Research Unit based at Baragwanath Hospital has launched an initiative to create an empowerment campaign tackling youth health and mental wellbeing through social media.
The unit is inviting young people with 2,000 or more followers on social media to become influencers of the #YouthKeStarring programme.
The coronavirus pandemic has taken a heavy toll on young people across the globe, with schools and universities having to close forcing them to stay home. A rise in youth unemployment due to the pandemic has also left many in financial difficulty with less hope for the future.
“The youth together with the Perinatal HIV Research Unit (PHRU) have however refused to let the impact of the pandemic bring them down and decided it's time to rise up and take charge with the creation of #YouthkeStarring, which is a non-profit youth empowerment campaign. The slogan is quite elaborative and stipulates the purpose of this campaign, which is ‘Youth at the front line of change'," the organisation said in a statement.
The initiative aims to reach out to young people through their social media platforms to spread health and mental wellness messages.
"#YouthkeStarring intends to address, not alleviate, the social determinants of health among the youth and it is a platform to unify and amplify the voices of the youth. This social health promotion campaign makes use of the Ottawa charter action areas namely: creating supportive environments, strengthening community action, and developing personal skills as part of the implementation plan,” the statement said.
As part of the campaign, the organisation said there will be 12 monthly themes, each with the objective to inform, empower, engage and interact with the youth in fulfilment of the aspects identified by the World Health Organisation’s definition of health.
“The vision of this campaign is to develop an interactive youth-led platform that aids for the empowerment of the youth of Africa as a whole. PHRU has played a major role in empowering the youth by allowing them to take charge in the campaign and giving them the power to make decisions in terms of the direction, mission, vision, goals, and objectives of the campaign,” said the organisation.
The non-profit campaign is still looking for young and passionate individuals keen to be part of the project.
The campaign will be officially launched in December and is hoping to extend beyond the borders of SA and reach Africa as a whole.