Experience from other countries indicates that in the coming weeks, there is a risk of young people being cast as ‘caring less’ about Covid-19 as they may not be at risk to the same extent as older people, and of the media focusing on ‘gangs of teenagers hanging around’ not taking the social distancing guidelines seriously.
While those of you working in the sector know that such lazy stereotypes of young people are unfair and counterproductive, it is important that we arm journalists with the tools to counteract these harmful narratives, and give them concrete examples of the positive actions young people are taking during this time.
We’ll be working to get that message out there, on traditional and social media, but we need your help:
For every small group of young people spotted gathering outdoors there are likely hundreds behind closed doors taking part in initiatives like Kildare Youth Theatre’s Quarantine Festival, or responding to hashtags like #SelfIsolationHelp and dropping groceries at the door of older neighbours, but we need to make that visible.
It’s important that people realise the scale of the sector and how important youth work is in providing alternatives to young people when so many opportunities have been shut down.
If you have any questions or ideas on the above, just say the word,
National Youth Council of Ireland