Why do you think that it’s important to recognise National youth day and what will you be doing on the day?
It is important to recognise youth day because youth play an important role in the future of Zambia. They are at the forefront of change in Zambia. I will be home on youth day but think it’s important for people to recognise the day and think about the future.
You are involved in a lot of TTF support groups and act as a teen mentor – why do you feel it is important for you to be involved in this way – what drives you to want to be involved?
I want to help others who have lost hope, I want them to have hope and acknowledge their status in a positive way. I want to share stories and experiences as I think this can really help young people and children who are HIV+.
I like working with TTF because it’s a great opportunity to meet so many people and make some really good friends.
What do you see as the different struggles for young women vs that of young men?
Prostitution is an issue for women. It is much easier for men to find casual work and employment than women. Women find themselves having not many options so have to turn to prostitution to make money and provide for their families and make money for food.
Also early marriages are an issue for women. Young women and girls often don’t have a choice whether they get married because of the environment in which they are living in pushes them to early marriage either for stability or because their family want them to.
Oh and peer pressure! Peer pressure is also a major issue for young people in Lusaka, leading to people doing things they don’t always want to.
If you could have any job in the world in the future – what would it be and why?
I would like to be a doctor – because I want to help people!
Sepiso, 16, is a client at TTF. She is actively involved in our work and supporting our activities. She is one of our teen mentors and is always involved in our youth and children's support groups. Here she reflects on some of the challenges of growing up in Zambia how she would like to build a stable and sustainable future.
Pearson, 19, has been involved with TTF for over six years. He is HIV+ and lives in one of the most urban poor compounds in Lusaka. To celebrate National Youth Day 2015 in Zambia, we spoke to him about some of the challenges and struggles he sees for youth in Zambia.