South African Viewpoint: Six Million Youth Disempowered?

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I am not an expert in figures, but I definitely know that six million people is more than 10% of our nation.

According to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) almost six million youth had not registered by the closing date at the end of January 2019. Was this their way of showing disappointment in their leaders or prospective leaders? The IEC slogan “voting is your way to be heard” didn’t mean a thing to them. Do our youth not see themselves as the people that will one day move the country forward?

I wondered if they felt like the Israelites in Egypt with no hope in their leader, Moses. Pressure is powerful. They felt pressured and angered by those in power. The rich people in this country (a mere 10%) own 71% of the country’s wealth, while the poorest people (a whopping 60%) share 7% of the total wealth.

Young people are disillusioned as they watch people who are better salaried than their own parents, have 24-hour security and many other resources, but continue to steal the countries resources.

To some of our leaders, stealing billions is like stealing 10 cents. Yet, every 10 cents is very important to the growth of the country. Another truth – it is not your 10 cents, but it belongs to the nation. Leaders were appointed to look after our money and not to squander and squabble over it.

Many young people mentioned that their parents or families depend on food donations from charities and on government pension money, which is not enough. I must be honest I feel for them, their cries are genuine.

We are all familiar with hope and disappointment. We are a nation filled with hopes and desires and those desires are sometimes fulfilled and other times they are not. It could be as simple as having trust that a friend will help you, and then be disappointed when all help fails. The truth is we do find ways of getting what we desire; then we either succeed or fail again.

So too, when we enter into prayer, we are filled with hopes and wait for the outcome. The outcome could be what we prayed for and sometimes it is not. Those are times where we go back to prayer to try and understand where things went wrong. We ask ourselves this question, was it through our lack of listening?

What am I trying to say to the youth of South Africa is this: your disappointment in the government that led you not to register to vote, hasn’t made any changes. Your vote could have made a significant change. There were 48 contesting parties and the choice was wide. Does it mean that not one of them spoke to you?

I appeal to the youth to become proactive about issues. Don’t feel forgotten and discarded. I know our leaders have failed you badly. They did not visit you when you highlighted your complaints, they carried on and enjoying stealing from your future. Your future is in your hands. Grasp it firmly.

Kenya Youth Survey Shows Perception of Safety Police and Educators

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Halima Musa and her cousins are part of a group called City Heights Youth for Change, made up mostly of first generation African refugee students from City Heights. In the past few years, the group has worked to get halal food into San Diego schools so kids could have healthy and culturally appropriate choices. They also worked to get voter registration numbers up in their neighborhood.

Now, the group has completed a survey of 300 City Heights young people to document how they view their community.

Musa and her cousins moved to City Heights from Kenya as young kids. Now, the young women are in college and have made it their mission to be ambassadors of City Heights to the rest of San Diego.

“Most of the time when the media comes into City Heights it’s only to report on stuff that’s bad. But when youth are being involved in political action or being involved in their school nobody’s really there to showcase it and let people know that the youth in City Heights are really invested in their community,” Musa said.

She says they wanted to control the dialogue about where they grew up and let local leaders know what the next generation thinks they need to focus on.

“We felt that as City Heights youth, we are never really at the forefront of telling what City Heights is like. So we wanted to get other input from youth like us and get them to tell us how they feel City Heights can be improved or how it is now,” she said.

Their latest survey took almost two years to complete. The group looked at young people’s feelings towards law enforcement and educators and safety in their community.

They found that as City Heights youth got older, their relationships with law enforcement became more negative. They also found that young men were more likely to have a negative relationship with police than young women.

“Most of the younger kids that were the same age as me, they don’t really trust the police either because of the conflicts that happen between the youth and the police officers,” said Sahra Mkoma, a member of City Heights Youth for Change and Musa’s cousin.

Not all of the findings were negative, Musa says she was surprised by some of the positive perceptions young people had of City Heights, like the way they saw their teachers.

“We found that most students feel like their teachers are really engaged in what they’re learning and they’re really helping them throughout the process in helping them become better students and better people. But they just don’t have the resources to make sure that their students are actually successful,” she said.

The other big takeaway — the young women hope gets the attention of City Heights leaders — is the youth’s perception of safety in their community. They found that as young people got older, they tended to feel less safe. They also found that young people felt the least safe in parks around schools in City Heights.

“People feel like schools, specifically parks surrounded by schools, are the most unsafe parts of the community, which I feel like should change because that’s usually where kids spend their time,” Musa said.

Isha Mkoma, Musa’s other cousin says even though City Heights needs some improvements she wants the rest of San Diego to know how great her neighborhood is.

“It’s a great community to live in, the people are very friendly, it’s very diverse and everybody … once you tell them to come to a place they will all be helpful, they’re very helpful around here,” Mkoma said.

The most important part of caring for children that are ill is to show that you care for them and respond to their needs physically and emotionally.

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To the kind public,

Her name is Akisa Macrina, one and a half year old girl. She was born with two holes in her heart. Akisa will never know the joy of walking and playing with other children because she is forever on the oxygen pump. This has brought a huge devastation and shock on her family. Her mother is constantly in hospital making sure that her daughter does not suffer alone.

Please let us restore Akisa’s precious health and harmony in the family. All we ask is the little that you have so that Akisa can get better health care. We are in dire need of your support in this time of sorrow.

We as Lumu Community Based Organisation are also very distressed by these sad news because we can only support the family emotionally but we are financially constrained. Doctors are not sure if Akisa will live long enough to reach teenage hood.

Now we are raising funds from known and unknown people so that we can help Akisa. We hope and look forward for your kind help.

If you have any queries Please contact us at: Call or Whatsapp (+27) 7344 41337/+256 (0) 709 672 179 / +256 (0) 414 672 179 Email: lcbon256@gmail.com / http://www.lumucommunitybasedorganisation.com
https://www.paypal.me/lcbon

Sincerely,

Samuel Lumu

Founder and CEO