AS Youth Month comes to a fold, the Gamalakhe Ward 5 Youth Development Forum hosted an event to address issues faced by young people in their community on a daily basis. The Youth Dialogue and Sandile Dlomo Debate Challenge, held at Gamalakhe Assemblies of God Church last Saturday, gave young people a platform to speak out about the challenges they face and also to listen to a myriad of guest speakers who advised them on recipes for success.Guest speakers spoke under the theme ‘The youth struggle continues, the future is ours”. Public Relations and Marketing officer of the PhumlaniM Foundation Lungile Mkhize highlighted some of the services offered by PMF, emphasising that the organisation was concerned less about individuals who focus on beauty and more about those wanting to change their lives for the better.The Sunrise Rehab Centre was also in attendance, and motivated the youth to stay away from alcoholic substances and drugs. A former drug addict, who has now been clean for two years, shared his personal journey with the youth in attendance. During his address, the former addict said education is the key to success and, even during his addiction, it was his educational history that helped him escape.Founder of the Ntombizonke Organisation Cindy Mkhize focused her discussion on women empowerment, which is lacking in our society.She said that women are perceived only as caregivers and housewives, and are only given minimal opportunities in high positions of leadership.She encouraged women to strive to break those boundaries. “From inception, women were always expected to bow down to men, this needs to stop”, she said. Other speakers included Lindani Mzotho, Zama Zindela and chairperson of the Youth Forum Alwande Mbatha who gave the opening remarks. After the official speeches, pupils from Olwandle High School and Galeni High School competed against each other in the school debate, with Olwandle High School winning the day.“The Youth Forum Committee would like to thank all guests who availed themselves, the Ward Councillor Phumlani Gumbi, the Assemblies of God Church for hosting them, and the youth of Gamalakhe and Siphelele Cele who handled the day’s proceedings,” said Phumlani Mzobe, Ward 5 Youth Development manager.