Somali youths constitute about 70% of the total population and have faced a dire situation over the past decade. They have lived through a conflict environment that has snatched away their childhood freedom, access to a quality education, employment, engaging in sustainable youth leadership and a chance to stand up for a better life and livelihood in days ahead. The impact has been experienced and felt all over Somalia. Young people desperately need opportunities to participate in the development of the country, and address and promote issues that are important to them.
One of the suggestions I believe will work for youths to improve their situation and that of the community or the country is to strive to get a better quality education and skills. This can be done by attending school regularly and advocating for the education needs to the government education department and stakeholders. Youth can also engage by doing voluntary internships at agencies and local government offices to learn and increase their skills before entering the real work world.
Secondly and more importantly, is youth work voluntarism or youth groups. Here youths can mobilize an army of volunteers to work on specific professional and informal fields to address and invest ideas with each other. This volunteerism can bring on initiatives to develop and promote social skills, create confidence in youths, inspire them, to engage in politics, improve and embrace love for family, religion and community and, lastly, let go of tribalism and engage in peace and dispute resolution.
Youths from same towns and districts should come together and share ideas, challenges they face and ways of resolving them. The volunteers should be able to support the community whenever there is need, e.g, cleaning the streets, watering the trees, free awareness, information sharing and campaigns on local issues. This will give youths the power and voice to unite and do great work together. By hugely engaging and participating in community work, youths will gain confidence from their community.
The youth work voluntarism can include workshops that, engage women and minority groups, networking with political leaders and activists, youth leadership training, regional educational contests, work with schools and institutions, and sports activities across their regions. They should advocate for peace rallies and dispute resolutions between their communities.
First of all, a solution among others to helping the youth problem is to connect voluntary youth work and quality education. Somalia needs youth capacity for significant growth and peace building initiatives, which will lead to stability and an economic boost for the country. Somali youth capacity and potential should be ignited. This can only be enabled through awareness and empowering youth in Somalia. I believe this is a helpful suggestion that can help make change for the best. Small steps can lead to big change.