Lockdown generation: how to prevent severe crisis?

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Author: Lela Jurukova 

The beginning and the whole course of the Covid-19 pandemic made changes in our lives and violated some of the principles we had. Even before the pandemic that led to the deep crisis, the integration of young people into society (socially and economically) was a daily basis challenge. What needs to be taken into account is that. unless immediate action is taken, young people will suffer from long-term and serious effects of the pandemic in the areas of employment, education, mental health and social inclusion.

The challenges began with the onset of the pandemic, where those young people who were committed to school / college on a daily basis faced their closure and difficulty adapting to the new reality in the educational model called online teaching. Despite the efforts of the institutions to find a way to adjust the teaching, many of the young people faced changes that they could not easily adapt to.

The pandemic has also posed major obstacles for young workers, limiting their employment and career advancement opportunities. Many young people have faced reduced working hours and even lost their jobs.

Disruptions and changes in education and employment, which were accompanied by a health crisis, have led to a deterioration in the mental health of many young people, where anxiety or depression can be observed, which has been further influenced by the introduction of anti-virus measures and many young people felt that this indirectly affected their freedom of movement.

But despite all these challenges, young people are still determined and strong, ready to strengthen their cooperation with institutions, civil society and all stakeholders so that they can create a better tomorrow. We, the civil society sector, must find a way to support and strengthen the voice of young people by advocating for urgent, targeted and better investment in decent jobs for young people, including employability skills training programs and social protection, greater efforts to improve the quality of online education as well as psychosocial support and sports activities for young people.

Only with support and joint work, for and with the youth, can we prevent the severe crisis of this "lockdown" generation, so that it does not have a negative impact on their future development.