by Act For Somalia
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
International Youth day is a day to celebrate, recognise and understand the contribution young people make to society across the world. The young indeed are those that all nations, communities and private enterprises put their hopes in for progress. The dreams of today can only be fulfilled by the youth of today, tomorrow. This is more than a saying, it is self-evident in humanity’s progress.
The youth of Somalia are among the most entrepreneurial, aspirational and inspirational in the world. Most were born in war and despite the trauma, have managed to educate themselves, rebuild their communities and today are in some way, shape or form contributing to the peace and stability of their country. This contribution is one all Somalis everywhere should recognise and be grateful for.
Youth is a time of joy, exploration, learning and excitement. It is a time of realisation that life can provide one with opportunities he/she can fulfil if they work hard enough for it and the conditions allow them to achieve. Somalia’s quarter century civil war has dented many dreams, ended many lives prematurely and created what can only be described as a lost generation. Youth in the past was associated with child soldiers, terrorists and those fleeing their homelands to seek asylum elsewhere. To some extent, this is still the case today and it is unacceptable.
All youth deserve the best from their governments and societies. This is a universal human right that should not be seen as a favour. However, in a developing nation like Somalia, where once they were victims, today the youth have a historic opportunity to shape their political and economic future by participating in the reconstruction of their country. The youth are Somalia’s future and they must be given every opportunity to play a key role in the state building and democratisation process as well as in the slowly recovering economy.
There is a struggle for the souls and hearts and minds of Somali youth and which direction they take will truly determine which path Somalis as a whole will go. Peace, security, progress and prosperity depend on an empowered youth, protecting their nation and interest against spoilers and playing a central role in the shaping of their societies and hence their own futures.
It is important to remember that today’s youth, wherever they maybe in Somalia, will one day be its industrial, social and economic leaders. In this regard, our entire national future and international progress rests with the youth of today. Let us recognise this, celebrate it and provide our youth with the tools they require to implement the vision of progress we must entrust to them going forward.
Happy International Youth Day.
Act For Somalia
Act4Somalia is Somali British advisory & Awareness raising Org based in Bristol with a Global Reach to promote Peace, Human Rights and Civic Engagement.