History unfolded when Blind SA commenced with the first-ever National Youth Parliament on 23 September 2023. The 14 schools from 7 provinces came together to robustly debate on issues that affect their lives, socially, politically, academically, and otherwise.
Despite the fact that most of the parliamentarians came very late on 22 Friday, the issue of Pretoria not having water as a glitch, they were quite keen to start with the programme on Saturday, 23 September. We were to start at 08h00, but everyone was already seated by 07h45.
The theme of the Parliament took quite an emotional angle where the parliamentarians, who are learners from the 14 schools were deliberating on their experiences which bar them from achieving what they are capable of. The overall view from most learners was “Never let your disability define your ability.”
Zibusiso from Prinshof School said: “If you cannot break the wall, jump over to get what you want!!!”.
Mr. Mazibuko, a political stalwart, and Chief Operations Officer of the Moral Regeneration Movement, finalised the Parliament by giving a motivational speech during the Gala dinner to close the event. “be the generation that gathers stones to build the society.”, said Mazibuko’ when he told his story to the audience.
The Parliamentarians were so excited and motivated by the speech. The faces showed their readiness to go out to their schools and communities and practice activism to better their own and other blind youth’s lives. Mazibuko’ closed his speech by saying: “There is no disability in fighting for your dignity!”.
Great thanks to the educators and other support staff who were very proactive and supportive to the team of Blind SA to ensure that parliamentarians were emotionally calm, and prepared to debate issues affecting their lives and to interact with others throughout the programme.