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Violence in Sierra Leone: A message from Prince Thorpe in Canada

30 September 2016 at 00:23 | 1352 views

By Prince Thorpe, Winnipeg, Canada.

For the past few weeks, I have been going through various articles,audios, videos, related to the high rate of youth violence in the country (Sierra Leone).

This is my humble submission:

It is no longer a secret that the current state of our youth in this country is becoming disturbing.

The high level of youth violence in S/L is not because the youth want to be totally violent, but because of a series of factors most times beyond their control.

Over the past few years, the link between youth and violence has been brought to the fore.

This is because, most of the time, the youth tend to be more violent when most of their expectations are not meet.

An investigation in to the happiness of our youth in S/L will reveal a very disturbing picture of hatred, sadness, disbelief, arrogance, annoyance and even fighting, because of the enormous frustrations and unfulfilled expectations of the youth.

Under normal circumstances, the youth should have served as a strong backbone to the overall economic development path of this country.

The rate of youth unemployment in S/L is very high, simply because job opportunities are no longer in consonance with the fast rate of youth population growth.

Currently it is estimated that the youth unemployment rate is about 60% to 70% .
The private sector is not rapidly creating the required jobs that will have an impact on the level of youth unemployment.

Even though the government over the years has shown great commitment when it comes to improving the lives of the youth in the country by creating more youth institutions, like the Ministry of Youth and others, yet like many other countries, government cannot do it alone. All of us as citizens should not fail to realize that our young ones are the future assets of the country.

Our youth are wallowing in a pool of poverty, hopelessness, frustration and disappointment which causes them to be immersed in a lake of violence, drug addiction and stealing through the establishment of what are called "clique" (gangs) in Sierra Leone and other violent groups.

Despite of all these shortcomings, the government has been making relentless efforts by creating the enabling environment to ensure that the youth really actualize their potentials .

Nevertheless, more should be be done .

On the above basis, I am calling on the Youth Ministry, in collaboration with the Finance Ministry, Education Ministry, Agriculture Ministry, Social Welfare Ministry, Defence Ministry, Internal Affairs ministry and other youth institutions to come together and find ways they can be able to engage the lives of the youth in this country by doing the following:

- Formation and consolidation of an enabling environment.

- Training in various skills, etc.

- Establishing more industries for employment.

- Encouraging and helping the youth to further their education.

- Establishing more vocational institutions.

- Engaging of youth in the Agricultural sector.

- Creating sound youth policies, not only should those policies be put to paper, but they should implement them.

And many more....

Call to the youth

We all as youth are a part to the whole.
It is the reality that most youth do not have the enabling environment to really become who really they want to become.

But some choose the wrong path of life.

Which will yield no benefit, rather than ending up in prison, and destruction.

Remember what one American President says JOHN F KENNEDY said: "Ask not what your country has done for you but ask what you have done for your country."
As youth of this nation, find positive ways you can contribute to the development of this country.

- Don’t be too desperate to make it at all costs, that sometimes boomerangs.

- Don’t go for instant gratification (shortcuts ) ; there is nothing like a free lunch.
Before you gain any prize, there must be a price to pay.

- Have a sense of direction, courage and determination.

- Be hard working, and prepare for opportunities.
There are lots of opportunities out there .
All you need to do is to position yourself enough for those opportunities.

- Get into continuous educational programs.
Remember, no knowledge is useless in this world.

- Be disciplined enough to get what you want in life and pursue your dreams.

- Get formalized goals,set your target as a young man . Remember, ageing waits for no man.

In conclusion, I am appealing to the youth of Sierra Leone to say no to violence.
But let’s accept responsibility and let peace reign.
Let’s focus on the Agenda for Prosperity and see what the future holds. Remember, Better is always possible without Violence.

Blessings to us all.