Youth In Peril, But Nobody Cares

15

By Makeda Mikael

Take a ride around any poor black neighborhood in and close to St.John’s and count the groups of young men, school age and a bit, just liming on the corner, nothing to do. Missing are the phones, they have no money to top-up!

 

The inability to communicate in these times is reason for rage and the young people cannot lean on anyone these days, for fathers of most of our young men are not there, and single mothers are having a hard time.

We don’t have look very far to see the result of young men growing without fathering, they are in jail, on the corner waiting for some stupid idea to send them to jail or worse causing trigger happy police to shoot them.

 

Those who have financial status are also frustrated, either unhappy in some mundane job in a toxic workspace, which they see as sort of like jail, or the foreign educated ones dropping out and doing nothing, because they have been taught in school not to support confusion and corruption – and that is how our economic powerhouse is viewed by them.

And, it is getting worse, and,  they are getting in trouble younger. The bridge between these confused and sometimes hungry young men and the community is broken, and there is no love lost between the young and older persons who cannot code and refuse to realize the world has changed.

 

Young people need to be able to express their frustrations without the adult contempt which usually follows their outbursts.

The time has come for government institutions to change their playbook regarding youth involvement, youth development and their contribution to the island and their own communities.

Recently we heard rumblings of the Defense Force being better utilized (as we are not yet at war) by community development and involvement.

 

The time has come for us to institute a Mandatory Youth Service. Instead of copying some other country’s program, Antigua needs to confer with those Public and Private Sector initiatives which are concerned about the direction missing in our youth development, and come up with a program built to improve the youth and teach them their civic duties as the future leaders of our island.

 

A military training program to establish focus, then geared to personal development of our young people that will keep them out our jail, and thereby contributing to their growth and the development of our island.

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15 COMMENTS

  1. This reasoning is like ‘the calm before the storm.’ Let’s hope, that by the time the storm reaches the island, it won’t be a Category 7 hurricane bringing a Tsunami in

  2. writer your country of St. Kitts and Nevis is in peril right now. do you care? team unity crumbling at its base.

    • Sad But True: The writer is more Antiguan than you would ever be. Could you tell me what contributions you have made to Antigua.

  3. SAD BUT TRUE what does St. Kitts (and its political issues) has to do with the significant point of the article. Many of our youths are just drifting in particular our males. We need to find solutions to engage them and save them. This is not just a problem in Antigua but in many other countries and perhaps St. Kitts as well.

    • Tell Harold to address these issues in policies that he will implement if the people would trust him to run this country at any time in the future.

      • Is Harold the government. If he should tell, the leader of this no ideas government will take take credit for it on his rum shop show. You think Harold truppit? You are so smart, why don’t you give your leader some advice.

  4. Young people all over the world are crying out for a future. Most, especially in Antigua, have no prospects for a decent paying job. They are graduating from secondary school and State College to what? Now, they are even graduating from university. The government can’t hire everybody. What employment do they have to look forward to? To work as maids and butlers in some hotel. The future doesn’t look good and they can no longer run to North America and England like the previous generations did.

      • @CErmle…in a nutshell, what you’re saying is that, we talk the talk, but don’t walk the talk.
        It’s the #norm in our Nation, for the bumbling bureaucrats and nattering nabobs, r we call dem, de Nuff n Edge-Up Posse to put on their polyester suits and pretend to be doing something. Most of the time, they do more eating and drinking at cocktail party’s, luncheon’s and dinners, than actually engaging in the kinds of dialogue which will move such programs and projects(Youth Services) forward, and in the right direction.

        On the other hand, during those same periods which you mentioned, the Vere C. Bird, Snr era, Tim Leonard Hector and the ACLM had their boots on the ground, advocating for such things as cooperative farms and a change in the Education system to be more inclusive of Our African Culture and heritage. Yet, the same V.C. Bird Snr, the British Government and the American CIA, used propaganda, sabotage and the likes to label the ACLM as Communist Organisation, simply because they were being educated and trained in Cuba.
        The ACLM was simply getting education by any means necessary, to advance US as a People.

        We don’t need the church with their indoctrination’s, initiations and recruiting campaigns to be out front for the Youth Services. The church is just as corrupt, as their partner in crimes the Government.
        The civic associations, Community Groups, Sporting Clubs, Cultural Groups should be networking together, brainstorming to come up with solutions to what the writer has alluded to.

        The youths on the streets, as described in the article don’t trust the Church and at the same time, they recognise the corruption within the government.
        While the support, of the Government is needed, it should be the same way they support Non-Profit Organisations.

        BTW – what ever became of the Cultural Center which Deluxe Cinema was bought for, and was to be converted into?

      • @Sad But True…it’s really Sad, But True when ignorance is used as a cover, to advance a cause.
        Well well well is Just Saying to you, that on one hand you’re praising Max Fernandez for exporting maids, waitresses, bartenders from our Servitude Industry aka Tourism Industry to the same Trump Country to smile and grin like #Pringle #Roast #Dog, to make money to feed their families, and on the other hand, you’re like an obeah wukkah collecting your supplies from the church. In other words #HYPOCRISY!

    • Although I agree with most of your comments, I believe your statement as to the job in hotels is one of many years ago, when we just got into the tourism industry, and we didn’t have the education. Nowadays our young people are hotel managers, supervisors and CFO’s and chefs in the hotels. It is up to our government to set policies that will limit the number of expats who are allowed to work in a hotel. The hotel industry offers a wide range of career opportunities. Yes, the majority of the jobs are at the lower level, but that is for those that do not have an education. Sadley enough that is a large group. I once had a housekeeper that demonstrated her ability to think outside the box, and I was convinced if that lady had gotten the proper education, she would not have been a housekeeper. Furthermore, government cannot be our all and all. People like the writer have the civic duty to create employment for the youth. But what is she doing instead? Pointing the finger to others. And when the foreign investors come and provide jobs for these youngsters, they have a lot of negative things to say. But it is time we look at how many jobs Antiguan owned companies provide for Antiguans. I do not want to criticize the writer too much, but I’d say to her, look at the woman in the mirrow. Change start with you.

  5. Interesting article. Recall some years ago BS proposing a similar solution. I tend to watch Nollywood movies and I see them (Nigeria) pushing youth service. Agree with the writer we can’t continue the way we have. I strongly believe going the youth service route will help remedy the problem we have with litter. The program must include elements of helping the youth properly career plan.

  6. Madame, this time I agree with you 100%, and I expect you will find that same agreement right across the political parties. Many years ago Sir Vere Cornwall Bird gave serious consideration to the establishment of a NATIONAL YOUTH SERVICE. Contact was made with the leadership of the National Youth Service of Kenya under the leadership of the famed General China. A representative from the clergy in Antigua even met with General China nearly 25-30 years ago on behalf of V.C. Bird. General China and the Kenya Youth Service leadership pledged their support, as they at the time were running a very successful entity in Kenya. Although cabinet appointed a committee and even a Chairman and Deputy Chairman, but nothing serious ever came of it. Perhaps the time has come to take another look.

    • @CErmle…in a nutshell, what you’re saying is that, we talk the talk, but don’t walk the talk.
      It’s the #norm in our Nation, for the bumbling bureaucrats and nattering nabobs, r we call dem, de Nuff n Edge-Up Posse to put on their polyester suits and pretend to be doing something. Most of the time, they do more eating and drinking at cocktail party’s, luncheon’s and dinners, than actually engaging in the kinds of dialogue which will move such programs and projects(Youth Services) forward, and in the right direction.

      On the other hand, during those same periods which you mentioned, the Vere C. Bird, Snr era, Tim Leonard Hector and the ACLM had their boots on the ground, advocating for such things as cooperative farms and a change in the Education system to be more inclusive of Our African Culture and heritage. Yet, the same V.C. Bird Snr, the British Government and the American CIA, used propaganda, sabotage and the likes to label the ACLM as Communist Organisation, simply because they were being educated and trained in Cuba.
      The ACLM was simply getting education by any means necessary, to advance US as a People.

      We don’t need the church with their indoctrination’s, initiations and recruiting campaigns to be out front for the Youth Services. The church is just as corrupt, as their partner in crimes the Government.
      The civic associations, Community Groups, Sporting Clubs, Cultural Groups should be networking together, brainstorming to come up with solutions to what the writer has alluded to.

      The youths on the streets, as described in the article don’t trust the Church and at the same time, they recognise the corruption within the government.
      While the support, of the Government is needed, it should be the same way they support Non-Profit Organisations.

      BTW – what ever became of the Cultural Center which Deluxe Cinema was bought for, and was to be converted into?

Comments are closed.