“The youth are the leaders of tomorrow” is a statement I have been consistently reminded of since my childhood. A lot of people have argued the fallacy of this statement however, and rather have opted for, the youth are the leaders of today. This is perhaps so because young people have proven to have the capability to come up with innovative ideas that have led them to top leadership positions. Think of Mark Zuckerberg for example. He became founder and CEO at the age of 20. Similarly, a lot of young leaders have emerged and brought forth significant changes in people’s lives. In my opinion, it doesn’t matter whether it’s “leaders of tomorrow” or “leaders of today.” Having the desire to make a difference from yesterday is what’s important.
The same line of thought is what got me to engage myself more with the young people in my community. Through interactions, I noticed that some of the youth are school dropouts, engage themselves in risky behaviors, and have a corrupt mindset. This is what provoked me to create a club, with help from Volunteer Chisomo, that provides an opportunity for the youth to learn and influence each other positively. Here are a few things we do:
Firstly, we do career guidance and goal setting sessions. As a young person, I realized that we usually learn and get advice more from people of our own age than from parents. The club gives an opportunity to seek guidance on what steps one can take to achieve a specific goal. We also encourage each other to set and achieve challenging yet realistic goals.
We also focus on good health and physical activities. We make it a point to constantly remind ourselves on ways to prevent HIV and other diseases. The club is a place where we keep ourselves busy while refraining from risky behaviors. In addition, we are involved in sporting activities to keep our bodies strong.
Furthermore, we discuss how to deal with difficult situations. We all know that life doesn’t always go according to plan. Moments that are stressful are inevitable, and it is wise to have knowledge on how to cope with stress. The club is a place where one can reach for advice from fellows when faced in a difficult situation.
Basically, the youth club is a platform for the youth to be guided with a set of values to follow. They develop skills and techniques that build up character and shape their decisions. The good decisions cultivate creativity and innovation through which they will be able to do something that will make a difference between today and tomorrow. I am optimistic for my youth club. Who knows? I might have the future Malawi president in there!