THE National Youth Development Authority’s engagement of youth in community participation and self-help is a positive step towards community empowerment and integral human development.
Youth issues are development challenges and engagement such as the recent life-skill training and confidence workshop held in Banz in partnership with the communities/youths of Hela and Imbonggu is the beginning of that process.
Empowering young people as partners in addressing and making decisions about issues that affect them and their community is vital.
Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr once said: “One of the great liabilities of history is that all too many people fail to remain awake through great periods of social change.
“Every society has its protectors of status quo and its fraternities of the indifferent who are notorious for sleeping through revolutions.
“Today, our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.”
Young people today are in a difficult and challenging socio-economic climate that is rapidly and constantly changing with advancing technologies and educational standards.
Unemployment rates among young people is on the rise, leading to the complexities of social challenges. At the same time more people are going into higher education and getting their degrees.
The bar has risen, not only creating more competition but also forcing some young people to take the academic route when they are not suited to such path.
The constant fears that youths face are pressures to succeed and stigma in society which could lead to disempowering them.
This is why we need to engage them in such activity. There are benefits of course: transferable employability skills for careers, being more active and healthy and gaining life experience.
These are great as starting points but the trove of benefits runs deeper for the engaged young person.
The Government should support this engagement as a development agenda.