Enlisting the Youth in Rebuilding Liberia

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In my first article in the Daily Observer recently, I talked about how we Liberians were doing reasonably well for what we started in the redevelopment process. However, we need to roll up our sleeves to make our experience light up this country. Subsequently, there has to be continuity and   this is what I want us to talk about in this edition.

It is time for us to have an unembellished conversation about how we need to inspire our youth to be creative both in the learning establishment and in the communities. The young people need to know that they cannot be indifferent about the direction of this country.

We should not neglect to enlist our youths.  Instead, let us articulate to them about the significant role they need to play – because the future belongs to those who are willing to make a difference in their communities and being a positive force for change. Let us tell the youth that they need to “hold up their candle and let it shine.”

This will send a message that they are willing to work, and this is good for us to do for our young people.

Liberia is just like any other nation that went through a lot and is now trying to get back on its feet. There are many challenges we have faced and some we will continue to confront; there is no way around this. But what I want us not to do is to keep ourselves back just because we had some rough spot along the way. We must be willing to make some changes in our collective thinking to make this nation great.       

Our responsibility is to make Liberians’ dreams come true – for there to be the kinds of living standards we want to experience in this country.  We can do this by having a conversation about what needs to happen in this country. These conversations must include everyday people, especially the young people who are the backbone of the country. Let us give them a platform that will help them feel as important as any other elite Liberian.

Students should be considered significant factors in our schools. These students are the transporters of our nation for tomorrow. They need to be given the confidence that their hard work is appreciated, as this will encourage them to do better. Without these people, how are we supposed to march forward into the future with the confidence that all will be well? 

Young people are a special kind of people; they hold a special place in my heart. When you listen to their stories you feel the passion in their voice. A sizable number of these youth want to do great things in their communities, but they need necessary incentives. What do I mean by incentivizing these young people?

Well, here is my proposal to the nation and our schools:   

  • I recommend that we have debate sessions in all schools in this nation about how we can move forward into the future. Let there be a special segments during the day to engage some of our hard pressed issues in our nation. These debates should take place in all schools on Fridays, because this could be a powerful tool to aid the youth in articulating their views precisely. If we do this, there is a strong possibility the young people can have the confidence needed to participate in these processes that we want to make efficacious.
  • The young people need to create student organizations. These students’ bodies should gather to filter through debates. And within the body there should be students who will act as liaison between the student body and the government. Having strong ties with the youths will help the government to carry on some good life affirming activities. This will also help reduce some of the fractions  between the government and the young people.   

I ask that the government pay attention to the recommendations that will be coming from the young people. I believe that the government has a lot to gain by having a working relationship with the young people. 

Let us work to make our young people demonstrate what we want this country to become. You can discern the elevation of voracity (greed, self indulgence)  among the young people in Liberia. Why? because there is no program in place to aid young people become to productive members of society. The reason we have government is for the government to help in areas that individuals cannot. Every investment we make in a child is worth making and we should not reduce ourselves – our hopes and dreams for our young people. All of this hopeless optimism deserves a jolt toward hopeful horizon. This is not new for students in our schools, because before the senseless civil war we used to have such a thing. This will be a provision for a strong oral communication exercise for our youth, and this will make them active in the holistic development activities. Giving them a platform to express their ideas will make them to become more adept to the important issues in the country.

The Bible tells us that the “young people should dream dreams;” consequently we should encourage our youths to develop an army of young thinkers in this country. We are at crossroads and we should direction we want to go to strategize for our collective future.  

“The struggles continue.”  

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