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Thursday 26 April 2018

'We don't listen to the youth enough' - Former World Cup winning rugby captain Francois Pienaar believes education is the key to change

Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

‘We don’t listen to our kids enough, we don’t listen to what young people have to say enough’ – these are the words of former World Cup winning captain and this year’s One Young World counsellor Francois Pienaar.

The former South African rugby captain was speaking at the launch of this year’s annual One Young World summit, set to be hosted in Dublin this October.

“As a young dad, my sons are 16 and 14, I’m constantly asking myself do I give them the opportunity to ask about leadership or do I give them the opportunity to express themselves,” he said at the launch.

“We need to listen to our youth more.”

Pienaar echoed the words of the late Nelson Mandela and said that education is the most powerful tool a nation could have.

“It’s education, education, education,” he said, “That is how youth can change the world for the better. My motto come October at the summit will be about education.”

Pienaar, who is looking forward to returning to Irish soil after the summer for the conference, said he couldn’t possibly say what he is looking forward to the most.

“It’s difficult to pick the cherry from so many cherries,” he said.

“Often there’s a jewel out there that you don’t know is going to happen, an interaction between the brains of the young people. Let me all say all of the above!”

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