Letters & Opinion

A National Youth Service can Make a Positive Difference!

Carlton Ishmael
By Carlton Ishmael

So often we put our hands in the air and say that the situation we now face is unavoidable, but consider the following…

The troubled years of most youth is between 17 and 25, when most are trying to decide their fate or future. It is also a time of indecision, varying conflicts, peer pressure, parental conflicts and having to make ends meet.

Your parents, though they can be supportive, cannot be burdened with all your concerns indefinitely. In shaping your own lives, the decisions you make or your chosen path, may well be what determines your future.

A big part of the youth’s problem also surrounds not being qualified, being under-skilled, having no previous work experience and deemed as having no ethics — and not having the money to do as they please.

As the saying goes, money makes the mare fly and knowledge is the key to success. But, not being guided or mentored, tutored or supported, can dampen their hopes, and thus leave them with only negative thoughts, or have them committing themselves to the underworld economy.

My suggestion is to establish a youth service, where youths would be trained in having survival skills, educated in a variety of ways, have living quarters to develop independence and also to gain credibility and more assurance after graduation.

I think this project should be between two and five years to make a rounded individual. The state can finance the institution and parents and loved-ones, as well as sponsors, can assist in offering a subsistence or allowance during that period, or be offered a stipend for participating.

We cannot give-up on the youth, especially our young men, but we must admit we have made several promises that are yet to be fulfilled.

Besides, we choose what jobs we think they should do, but don’t allow them to choose their own path. They need support in various areas, but we have no forward thinking or planning that seeks to make a success of their lives.

Not all have independent minds or the will-power to ensure success and many are rebellious and channel their anger in the wrong direction.

Camps may be considered socialist in nature, but the end result may just be the antidote to criminality. Any time one feels they have earning power or can be rewarded handsomely for their input, this will seem as a lucrative option.

To change mindsets or give value to life, the establishment must seem to be caring and concerned.

Teaching the youth to fish will allow them to feed themselves, but ignoring their concerns will only lead to more lawlessness.

And it is time we understand that not all old modules will work, hence the need for innovations.

We must treat all the children as ours because failing one is just like failing all. They must also believe that joining such an outlet is a way out, just like what the army meant to countless persons.

To find new discipline one has to instill it, it has to be carefully crafted to secure a future for this generation. We must offer alternatives for success after schooling, unemployment should not be an option and success will be determined by how many participate and how many actually go through the new doors.

The fight or struggle is not going to be easy, but if we don’t try to charter a new course then we stand to lose more of our young people to crime and violence.

We will not save all, some will definitely fall through the cracks, but the one saved from himself would be worth this entire incentive.

These suggestions are free as per usual, with no consultative fees required. Just remember that it is what one can do for country, and not the other way around.

For what it is worth, take the advice of a concerned citizen.

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