By Costa Nantume
In a world where government efforts strive to nurture a promising youth, It is disheartening to witness countless children struggling on the city streets. The rise in child marriages and teenage pregnancy casts a shadow over our hopes, while issues like prostitution and homosexuality have transformed into distressing businesses. In the midst of it all, we find young souls ensnared by the clutches of addiction to substances like marijuana and other drugs, trapped in the vicious cycle of betting, and lost in the darkness of thievery and drunkenness.
Meanwhile, there are those who endure mistreatment and meager pay, victims of both local and foreign investors. It is evident that a long road still lies ahead if we are to create a dependable market for their future endeavors.To the representatives of our youth, let us not merely advance our individual agendas. Let us embody the pain of our fellow young minds at the grassroots level. Our esteemed President, H.E Yoweri Museveni Tibuhaburwa, has graced the National Youth Councils with his presence, seeking to hear the voices of the youth. Yet, too often, these presentations echo only our personal ambitions, failing to amplify the resounding chorus of the majority.To the Youth MPs and NYC members, let us not confine our focus to our home constituencies, driven solely by aspirations to secure our positions in the upcoming elections.
Let us instead champion the cause of youth empowerment. Let us cease using their tickets as mere stepping stones for our own objectives, and instead wield them as powerful instruments to advance the interests of the young generation.
The expectations of the youth are great, for we look to you as guiding lights illuminating our path. Mobilize, organize, and engage us in endeavors that foster development. Champion the fight for a minimum wage, shielding us from exploitation’s grip. Enhance our access to quality services, bolster our employability, and cultivate sustainable livelihoods. Pave the way for our active participation in decisions that shape our futures, at every level of society. Let us witness efficient coordination of youth-focused initiatives, using laws and policies as shields to protect our dreams.It is never too late to breathe life into youth-centered policies, regulations, and laws. Let us harness the avenues provided by our government to bring about a transformative shift in youth development and our nation’s progress. Uganda yearns for a generation of leaders who stand tall, unswayed by the traps of addiction and ignorance. The time has come to tighten laws, and empower their enforcement, propelling our country forward.let us use the government’s good will towards Young people make our youths find solace in their homeland, their voices reverberating as agents of change.
The canvas of our Parliament’s representation must extend from the regional to the sub-regional level, recognizing that the youth constitute a staggering 78% of our population. With wider participation, we forge a resounding impact that resonates across every corner.For the love of God and our cherished country, we stand united, driven by an unyielding commitment to kindle hope in the hearts of our youth, painting a brighter, more promising Uganda for all.
The writer is a former Youth Leader-Kiboga district, agriculturalist and journalist