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Covid-19: young people facing the pandemic, four testimonies


The health, economic and social crisis is hitting young people hard, especially high school students and students. During the second confinement, 41% of 18-24 year olds declared to suffer from anxiety disorders and 40% from depressive disorders, according to an INSV / MGEN survey.

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The Apprentis d’Auteuil foundation, in partnership with the National Union of Family Associations (Unaf), Sport dans la ville and Bayard, offers young people a chance to speak again. 13-25 year-olds have until May 15 to express themselves via an anonymous online questionnaire, accessible at repriserelaparole.fr.

By mid-April, more than 2,000 young people had already taken part in this consultation. The responses will be used by the foundation to create a manifesto so that “Youth be included as a real priority in the programs of the candidates for the presidential election of 2022”. La Croix Campus, a monthly news analysis for high school and college students, interviewed four of them.

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“How to get people to listen to us”

Robin Sestre, 22 years old

Covid-19: young people facing the pandemic, four testimonies

In cabinetmaker CAP in Bouffémont (Val-d’Oise)
“I think people my age, and even younger ones, have a lot to say, especially right now. However, we don’t always know how to get people to listen to us. Our main channel of expression is social networks, especially Instagram. It is thanks to this that we can disseminate our commitments, share what challenges us. But as our demands are rarely linked to political groups, they have little echo.

When we hear about youth, we don’t really have the impression that it includes us all. I, who am on a cabinetmaker’s professional aptitude contract (CAP), do not feel represented when we talk about young university students. We tend to forget that young people are not only in Parisian universities. I find Apprentis d’Auteuil’s initiative interesting: beyond relaying our demands, it will make it possible to know who are the young people who are not seen in the media. “

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“Do not hesitate to take the lead”

Clérye Figarella, 20 years old

First year student in electrical and energy engineering in Grenoble (Isère)

Covid-19: young people facing the pandemic, four testimonies

“This crisis is difficult humanly, I study far from my parents, I feel a little isolated. But I think I have nothing to complain about, because being a work-study worker, I go to a company every other month, which allows me to see the world.

For my part, I feel rather listened to, but I think that we could do more by going to see what is happening in schools, by highlighting school projects. I had the opportunity to express myself by participating in an innovation competition, Déclics jeunes, organized by the Fondation de France.

I am among the 2020 winners for my autonomous chicken coop project that works with solar panels. I am totally invested in the environment and the climate. And I’m pretty excited for the future, for all the challenges there are. My message to the youngest: do not hesitate to take the lead.

“You have to trust us”

Mehdi Legrand, 19 years old

In cabinetmaking CAP in Nanterre (Hauts-de-Seine).

Covid-19: young people facing the pandemic, four testimonies

For a year, the crisis has deprived us of freedom, of social ties. Me, it also deprived me of income. I wanted to work on weekends in addition to my CAP to earn some money, but all my applications went unanswered because of the crisis.

Young people are very touched by what has been going on for a year, and yet we are rarely involved in decision-making, we are not listened to. I would like to send the governing bodies a video that appeals to them, that allows us to say what we need, our opinions, without going through an intermediary.

The government and adults more generally must realize that we have to be trusted. We are the ones who will build the future. So even if we don’t have the same professional experience, the same cultural background, we deserve to be included and to be consulted, that our voice be heard.

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“It’s my future job that keeps me motivated”

Cyrielle Alby, 16

In the bakery and pastry shop in Priziac (Morbihan).

Covid-19: young people facing the pandemic, four testimonies

Like many, I had small drops in morale. At one point, I felt a lot of pressure, because we were constantly talking about the Covid. I was afraid for the health of my relatives. I was panicking about putting them in danger, so I warned my friends that I was going to keep my distance.

Our parents pay attention to us, I find it normal to pay attention to them. We were fortunate to be very supported by our school. In high school, I also belong to a group fighting against bullying at school. I am in a hurry to be back in class so that I can continue to raise awareness on this subject in the classes. I would like to organize a big discussion with the victims of harassment and the supervisory staff. It’s my future job that allows me to stay motivated, despite the situation. I love what I do, it’s a job that makes people smile.

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