• May 29th, 2020

Youth participation: the wind in the sails of progress

Having been an active youth leader in my younger days, I speak from practical experience as to the impact and need for active and dynamic youth participation.
The youth have always been harbingers of development. 

Whether in creating a stand or proliferating and expanding an ideology passed down to them. 
We as youth drove the national agenda as we marched, sang, mobilised and stood firm against the then apartheid government. 

It goes without saying that every elder person around today was once youth; showing therefore that all participation and involvement, commenced as youth, ensures development for the future. There is therefore no better time in our history, than right now, to acknowledge the importance of our youth both as future leaders and actors in our society today with a direct stake in the development process.

The country needs confidence that the youth are willing and preparing to meet the challenges of the nations development. This confidence is gotten by developing a workforce in the 21st century to be educated, flexible and multi-skilled.  This involves identifying, forecasting and developing the required skills to meet the nations’ basic needs. 

Our youth should strive for industry skills, general skills and discipline. 
One of the issues, which have a great potential in the enhancement of economies, is science and technology. 

We must depend on our own skills and initiatives and build strong bridges of prosperity if we are to succeed. 

Countries like Japan, Malaysia and Switzerland did not succeed because they struck oil or had a long spell of good weather.  They succeeded because of the skills, initiative and enterprise of their own people, especially the youth. 

The key to “this development is education. Education does not stop when you walk out of the school gates for the last time.  In order for Namibia to become confident and strong, the youth, the future leaders should have enthusiasm, vigour, diligence, creativity and resourcefulness and should initiate, direct and propel economic growth. 

In other words, they should be positive risk-takers and efficient organisers. 
These characteristics are crucial in providing the right impetus and dynamism to development.
The youth of Namibia let’s pause for a moment and think of the sacrifices made by our departed forefathers and mothers.  They set an illuminating example that the youth of today should emulate with pride. We should honour their brave deeds and achievements and set out how the enduring values can be applied to the very different world we live in today. 

Our meagre gift to them should be to declare a revolution against all evils of society. Have we started doing this? It is unfortunate that we have youth who are murderers, alcoholics, drug addicts, rapists and armed-robbers. 

Some are involved in senseless vandalism of the much-needed public facilities including schools. 
It is also, however, sad that our beautiful towns are gradually being turned into dumping grounds because of the perpetual littering. 

Some parties claim all this is as a result of youth apathy. But apathy comes as a result of not having a value system. Value system is important if we are to have the kind of human resources that we need. 
A child with a correct value system will achieve. 

Changing that mindset so that we are masters of change is what mean when we talk about making Namibia a new country convinced that its best times can lie ahead fired with ambition, but improved by idealism, compassion and justice.

In this, we as the youth should succeed because if we don’t’ our country will remain backward and the future generations will convict us.

* Reverend Jan. A. Scholtz has worked for 16 years as a Youth Officer, and Head of Centre, and is a holder of Diploma in Theology, B-Theo (SA), a Diploma in Youth Work and Development from the University of Zambia (UNZA), Diploma in Education III (KOK) BA (HED) from UNISA
(This article is written in his personal capacity).

Staff Reporter
2019-10-18 08:10:02 | 7 months ago

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