Monday, August 25, 2008


“What is with the trend of having guest writers on your column?” someone asked. He was wondering if I am tired of writing so soon! My voice is not silent, I am certainly not tired of writing because it is a positive way expressing myself! But this month, I am inspired to share this platform with other young people of like-minds from different parts of the world- Dayo Israel, Jessica Rimington, Oghenefego Isikwenu. They are epitome of young leaders who will do nothing but succeed in their mission to protect the future. They understand the beauty of being youth and making positive impact. By engaging and commititng themselves, they are using their brain and heart to influence others with hope!

What happens when you loose hope? You don’t want to do anything anymore. You become a detached citadel of pessimism and even act as a barrier to the success of others. And everything stop being of real value because of your inability to achieve your goals. God forbid that our generation become shapen into a hopeless one!

The three guest writers who were featured as part of this year’s international youth day celebration did express their hope for this generation and their commitment to protect the future despite the many challenges facing our world today. We can indeed stop the earth from being driven into premature extinction if we all desist from activites that promote social inequality, man inhumanity to man, enviromental degradation, poverty etc.

It is because of the present as well as the future that we need to be more accountable and stop ourselves (not just our leaders) from squandering the resources God has blessed humanity with. Industrialization is one of the contributing factors to global warming and even at rural level, poverty is causing men to depend solely on earth to survive, thus they cut down trees to feed but leave the land they tilled for food bare and neglected.

The decisions you and I make everyday affect generations ahead. However, our passion and loyalty could be channeled towards moving things forward. We need a paradigm shift from the materialism mess we have got ourselves into by not denying the value of money i.e money is great to have if you do great things with it, but by understanding that there is only enough to meet our needs and not our greed. Protecting the future is all about sustainability. We all need to hold hands and join hearts to make the world a better place for posterity and not shatter our hope into piece.

Monday, August 18, 2008

THE FUTURE'S FUTURE (Guest writer)

An OWYP colleague from Nigeria and I were recently discussing all the societal divisions we face, all the prejudice and discrimination. We were equally frustrated with parallel situations in our parts of the world. We asked each other: Would it ever get better?
I saw a 15 year old boy freaking out once because he too saw the burden our generation faced. He was on the verge of tears because he saw it only as a burden. Yes, it is a burden in one way. But, the beautiful side of it contains a truth that is almost too overwhelming to admit to ourselves and perhaps this is why we do not yet fully own it. That this generation and the ones coming right after us have the gift and the challenge of re-imagining the world for our great-great-grand children, is there anything possibly more important and exciting?

If I had to put a theme to this I would say: curing human detachment and the precipice on which our generation finds itself resting. Though that sounds really bold, I claim no profoundness or shocking insight, only observations. Some very smart people told me that this all happened not all too long ago. That it arrived with the Industrial Revolution, the age of Colonization, and genocide of indigenous peoples. They said that we started internalizing this new story of human existence around the time we did not need to be directly connected to the land to survive. Paul Hawken says the crux of it all really comes down to oil. That once we discovered what we could use it to make, without having to use the actual energy, we spiraled fast in a direction that most now label as progress.

Our lives and world were transformed. And, it is all incredible in its own way. I can stand in Las Vegas and love it just as I can stand in the Redwoods and love it. But, it doesn't change the fact that something is wrong. If I dare venture to define what is wrong I would say: (1) Somehow in the process of so much growth, we have become detached from what it is to be human. (2)Our current ways of life are utterly unsustainable. The reason it matters is because we are pushing humanity toward a premature extinction. Our global economic system has detached us from the basic essentials of life, methods of extraction, production, consumption, and waste. This disunity allows for great injustice. According to Van Jones, "Two problems confront us: social inequality and environmental destruction. Both problems are reaching crisis points. We act as if they are separate problems, but they are linked economically, politically, and morally."

Around the globe, people are starting to do in their own ways, in their own communities what has to be done; we see this in the influx of NGOs, and even in the media's relatively new attention to "being green" and promotion of community service. Out of necessity we are going to have to literally change the world starting with the way we interact with it.

Guest Writer: Jessica Rimington,
Founder: One World Youth Project.

Monday, August 11, 2008

My faith in Nigeria, my hope for the future (Guest writer)

Many young people have lost hope in this country, so all they think of is how to leave the country; it’s quite unfortunate, but I will love you to know that you have a part to play in the rebuilding of this nation. I believe so much in Nigeria that somehow I have a way of seeing the silver lining behind the cloud. There is hope! Our fathers (THE LEADERS) have disappointed us in many ways, the hope we have left is the generation of young people whose mentality have not been entangled in the corruption that stinks all over. The wind of corruption has caught up with some young people, but we have a remnant. It is no more a hidden fact, they are everywhere, and in every sector of our economy young people are proving themselves as leaders, achievers, goal getters and good managers. The increase in civil society, international organizations and even corporate organizations concern for leadership development among young people has proven to be a step in the right direction.
This is where I get my hope from. Our present leaders did not have the opportunity to undergo leadership trainings before they took up such positions, so they just learnt on the job. The African Leadership Forum, LEAP Africa , YoungStars Foundation, Inspiro Communications and Media, UNFPA, UNDP and a lot more organizations have concentrated on leadership development programmes for young people. You may not feel the impact now, but there is hope. Let’s concentrate on building a peaceful, equitable and sustainable future for our children. Our fathers did what they could and gave us the Nigeria we now live in; you have to construct and build the Nigeria you want your children to live in and now is the time.
This is our opportunity to contribute to nation building, do not wait till you are the President, Governor, Senator or even the Counselor to make an impact. Your next door neighbour looks up to you for leadership and direction, your kid sister believes so much in you and will be devastated if you fail, what about your parents, they always believed you will be better than them; my fellow Nigerian youths, we have a lot of work to do in reconstructing the Nigeria of our dreams. I certainly cannot do it alone, I need you to make this happen; you are important! I believe we are the hope of our country, Nigeria . Stop complaining, contribute your part, I will do my part, am sure together we can achieve a Nigeria we would be proud of, we can give our children a country they will boast about.

Guest writer: Isikwenu Oghenefego, National Focal Point, Global Youth Coalition on HIV and AIDS (GYCA), Action Partner, Oxfam International Youth Partnerships (OIYP) and Coordinator, Inspiro Communications & Media (ICM).

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

My Hope for future generation by Dayo Israel (Guest writer)

I live with Hope. Hope for a better tomorrow, Hope for a Brighter Future and a Safer World. However, this hope is not just for me but also of and for the over 30 Million Young People all over the World and the Unborn Generation. It is this hope that inspires my various International travels all over the world to gather together Young Leaders in their thousands to pray for the world through the Youth on the Frontline Conference.
I’m opportune to be born in this generation that is regarded as the IPod Generation, even though we have our records of uncomplimentary achievements, I am not in anyway envious of the past generation - My Parents Generation. The generation responsible for the ills of our today’s society, with records of corruption, massacre, under development, local and foreign debt, and foreign aid dependence as a result of bad political decisions such as the Structural Adjustment Program that has enslaved the African Citizenry. From Rhodesia to Kosovo, South Africa to Cuba, Liberia to Vietnam & South Korea, Afghanistan to Iraq, our “parents generation” Leaders fought wars that they had no business fighting in the first place. Wars that made so many Families Homeless, Children Parentless and turned so many Future Leaders into Child Soldiers.
Today's challenges are daunting. Top of the list is the Climate change and AIDS Pandemic that threaten us in an interconnected world. The Free World has continued to re-colonise the developing nations through various International Policies such as Globalisation and Open Market Economy. One of such is the Economic Partnership Agreement advocated by the European Union. The Iraq war and the resurgence of Taliban, and other global terrorist networks, have made our world more menacing by the threat of nuclear proliferation. The fears of terrorism have made our skies unsafe for travel.
Faced with these new generational challenges, the youths of this generation have continued to express passion and commitment to meet even greater challenges that may come with time. We have fought unemployment through Entrepreneurial alternatives. Our Innovations have posed major breakthrough globally. With Information Technology as one of the blessings of this generation, we have been able to tackle the challenges facing effective communication and information sharing. Young People now have a voice than we did 10years ago.
My Hope for the future generation is for a World filled with Love, Peace and armoHarmHarmony. A world where Young People: Succeed in education and continue participating in learning until University Graduation.; Take part in activities that develop their resilience and the social and emotional skills they need for life, and enjoy their leisure time, making real contribution to society using their energy and dynamism; Are emotionally and physically healthy and able to cope with the demands of adolescence and becoming an adult in a safe and supportive environment. Let us arise and build, working hand in hand to make this world a better place.
Guest writer: Temidayo Israel-Abdulai, Coordinator for the Nigerian Youth in Diaspora Organisation, a TV Talk show host and Youth Evangelist.