Making our youth an asset and not a liability is our collective responsibility

– an asset or a liability depending on how it is treated.

In Africa and the rest of the developing world, the biggest puzzle is how to empower and engage this group of energetic young people who can explode like a bomb if not handled properly.

In this context, an appeal is made to the government and development partners to come up with programs aimed at equipping young people not only with the skills necessary for employability, but also at changing their perception of a problem group. to a productive group.

Recently leading a one-day seminar on “Resources and Tools for Working with Young Leaders” in Dar es Salaam, Monica John, Communications Officer at TGNP-Mtandao, urged parents and society at large to use all means to ensure that the education of young people makes them good citizens with positive thoughts and motivated to work hard for the betterment of their own lives and their country.

She said that in addition to shaping their lives and communities, parents and guardians must promote their rights as human beings and eliminate all forms of prejudice and negativities.

“It is absolutely necessary to instil the right mindset and the right skills in our young people,” she said.

In this way, many qualified young people will feel comfortable being innovative, thus working hard and expanding the tax base of the national economy by transforming the massive informal sector into a formal one.

According to John, to make this possible, it is necessary to develop frameworks that encompass different categories focusing on the external structures, relationships and activities that create a positive environment for young people. Categories include Support, Empowerment, Limits and Expectations, and Constructive Use of Time.

Other categories that reflect internal values, skills and beliefs that young people also need to fully engage and function in the world around them are commitment to learning, positive values, social skills and positive identity.

She said that for young people to be good current and future leaders and productive people, they need to be surrounded by people who love them, care about them, appreciate them and accept them. They need to feel valued and valuable. This can only happen when young people feel safe and respected.

Young people need clear rules, consistent consequences for breaking the rules and encouragement to do their best, John said, adding that young people need skills to interact effectively with others in order to take decisions. difficult decisions and dealing with new situations. Young people also need to believe in their own worth and to feel in control of what happens to them.

Joseph Gassaya from Kivule Ward, Ilala District in Dar es Salaam, who was a participant, described the seminar as eye-opening for him, saying it made him aware of what he knew before about how to treat the young person as a parent and guardian.

He said he learned that beating a child who is misbehaving is not necessary to correct him, but that guidance is enough to help him become good and productive citizens.

Hancy Obote, another participant, praised TGNP and COADY for organizing such seminars saying they are resourceful because they help community members make better decisions about the challenges they face.

Elizabeth Rite of Mabwepande Ward said the seminar shed light on many of the parenting challenges emerging in her community and how she can best offer a helping hand in addressing them.

“Let’s put everything we’ve learned into practice in order to support and address parenting challenges in our communities,” she said.

Erick Underson, a participant from Kivule Ward, said the seminar provided him with skills on how to advocate for women’s rights on economic and social issues.

“Young people need to be heard and fully informed on how to address the challenges they face,” he said.

“The company must be close to young people in order to understand their problems and challenges for a quick solution.”

Zainab Fadhil from Kivule said through the seminar she learned to stand up for herself and fight for her rights, noting that boys and girls have equal rights and no gender is more important than the other.

Farida Seif, another participant, called on social welfare officers to work in collaboration with Mtaa and ward executive officers to sensitize communities on these gender issues.

Flora Ndaba, program manager and acting head of the activism department at TGNP, said introducing resources and using assets to support the preparation of young leaders is about driving a different kind of change to that communities not only see the potential of their youth, but also the opportunities. for sustainable and decent work.

She said the seminar brought together participants from Kivule and Majohe Knowledge Centers in Ilala District as well as those from Mabwepande and Saranga Knowledge Centers in Ubungo District.

Ndaba noted that the launching of such community initiatives in the centers were ongoing activities since their establishments were informed by different community support programs.

She urged community members who have benefited from the training programs to apply the knowledge gained by putting it into practice by training others.

According to the ILO, the International Labor Organisation, Africa is the youngest continent in the world. By 2030, one-fifth of the global workforce – and nearly one-third of the world’s youth workforce – will come from this region.

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