Youth: Open Space #14 : Youth Mortality and Livelihood
In this Open Space, AYF is providing a platform for youth to discuss youth mortality and livelihood. In the document of ASEAN YDI, it is stated “While mortality in youth is lower than other ages, youth are more likely to to partake in risky behaviors than other cohorts which can impact both their immediate and longer-term health. This makes health monitoring of young people vital for both intervention and long term health planning. Health monitoring of young people is vital. Some of these risks include: Road traffic accidents, Violence (both as victims and perpetrators), Suicide, Communicable diseases, Maternal disorders, Nutrient deficiency, Alcohol and drug abuse.”
While health is being highlighted during the pandemic, it is important to note that youth are also suffering from a system that does not promote youth wellbeing and livelihoods. There is a few youth mortality data related to the socio-political dynamics in the region. Youth livelihood is being threatened by situations that do not allow youth pursue better lives.
On the 19th of September (Sunday), around 20 youth in Southeast Asia attended the session from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Timor Leste. It was an entirely youth-led discussion, co-hosted by Alicia (Indonesia), Kyn (the Philippines), and Anukriti (Singapore).
Here are some highlights from the session
I think Education is also a very important part of livelihood, because as we know, you know a lot of these jobs that I think young people aspire to need solid foundation, need education and degrees but not everyone is afforded that opportunity.
In East Timor, mortality rate for youth increased due to a lot of youth do not know how to control their mental health issues because there were not a lot of discussion about mental health issues, and that allow them and force them to commit suicide. It’s also not only that, because there are so many problems in this world, but the pandemic has made everything stop, and you know, we have to do self isolation, quarantine, and basically that actually contribute to the higher rate of suicidal, if I may say that in the country.
Ella, Timor Leste
Maybe some factor that contributes to the increase of youth mortality in the Philippines would be the, I don’t know if you’ve heard about the drug on warrant? Actually we have youth mortality that you know in a sense youth have, you know died because of this warrant.
John Marco, The Philippines
In Malaysia, right now I think the concern is about the online classes. And when you have online classes, there’s a lot of homework that teachers gives to us, and we don’t have time to do it, because it’s just too much. And sometimes on the weekend, I have classes too. Like my school teacher said okay tomorrow we got class, and you guys need to join the class. If don’t, it’s gonna be a mess/ issue.
What is really surreal in this pandemic is art really becomes alive, you know. Artists have more time in creating more art, visualizing, and also you know having more income in their art. Having more time in making art, expressing, and you know giving art more value, that’s a livelihood that I can actually past through another artist or maybe to my future child, I guess.
Kean Larrazzabal, The Philippines
I have encountered cyber bullying in social media these past few days. I want to be off from social media because, you know, all of the homophobic and sexist comments. I just really wanted to take care of myself and off social media for two days. I think that is so helpful because we have been consuming a lot from social media and online content. I think problems from social media just add more struggle to what we are already facing right now.
Ricardo, Timor Leste
Your struggle is valid. I agree that social media can be very toxic sometimes. Just because they are not dressed up as themselves, they are not visible to their people. They just say whatever they want. They don’t think about other people’s feeling.
As a long term diabetic, the healthcare within my country for diabetic is not that great because it is not a widespread issue. Low demands for diabetic medication cause the high price. We are also not prioritized in terms of mental health as well. We feel like we are unimportant and I feel neglected in a lot of ways or sectors, such as education, health care, any type of societal interaction, and beyond.
In trans community, we have trans-specific healthcare that we need. So, there are also disabled specific healthcare. We have to know about these things. We do not have to perfectly know this, but when we speak about healthcare we need to speak about everyone. We need to speak to everyone. Reach out, so that it can be as inclusive as possible.
Kyn, The Philippines