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Do you think the MDGs will be achieved and what will be the role of youths in their achievement? Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Ishmael Dumbaya, Mar 22, 2006
Poverty , Child & Youth Rights   Opinions
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Ishmael Dumbaya- 3rd prize- TIG Sierra Leone Essay Contest

In September 2000, world leaders include the President of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, in a summit on the declaration of the Millennium Development Goals signed the fundamental agreement. It was thought necessary that these goals should be addressed in the World, primarily Africa, before the targeted period – 2015. It focuses on eight goals which has not only beneficial effects to the youths but also to the people of the world.

As far as there are diverse and beneficial effects to this fundamental agreement, they can be achieved and if youths get involved it can be successfully done.

Although in Sierra Leone the implementation did not start early like other countries where it started in 2000. The country started the implementation in 2002 due to the 10 year civil war. As they have been implemented, youths should perform the following for their successful achievement

1) Youths should undertake fully in youth development programmes in the communities and the nation as a whole. In this area, youths should undertake voluntarily on agricultural and sensitization projects. As one of the Millennium Development Goals is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, youths should carryout agricultural farming through the process of crop production and animal husbandry. They are strong and hard-working. If there is too much of food for the country and also enough domestic animal production, hunger will go far from the country. The youths and the people would then live a sustainable life.

They should also sensitize their colleague youths on the importance of farming and agriculture in the country. In some part of the country, if youths are seen sensitizing, they could be welcomed more than adults as adults are referred to as corrupt peoples and enemies.

2) According to the National Aids Secretariat report, youths in Sierra Leone are highly contributors to the spread of HIV/AIDS in the country. Youths should not sit and watch this contagion to continue. The youths should be combative and ready to fight against HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. Youths should carry a voluntary cleaning process around the communities in which they live. Like cleaning the waste deposit in gutters and back yards so that a free from disease Sierra Leone could be attained.

3) In working towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, youths need to monitor its implementation in the country, the communities and also monitor government projects and NGOs, on their sensitization tours. This will help enormously. By monitoring their processes in the country and the various communities it will help them to involve youths and also check the examples of government.

4) The problem of mining is very much associated with youths in the country. In Kono for example, there is a wide spread of deforestation and land degradation in many communities. It is believed that these youths till the land/soil for diamonds at the detriment of the environment. At the end, there could be a lot of labour wasted without even a half karat diamond discovered. For environmental sustainability to be ensured as goal seven of the Millennium Development Goals, youths should not involve in mining of diamonds and other minerals and should also discourage other miners about the dangers of mining to the environment.

5) Youth women in acquiring vocational training should be attentive so that the promotion of gender equality and empowerment would be a successful thing in the country.

Also youths should not support, neither condone, gender-based violence or discrimination against women. In the past, though not so paramount nowadays, women were discriminated by traditional customs and law. Youth groups should now advocate for the women more efficiently for gender equality.

6) A most likely role of youths in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals is that they should bear (no more) atleast 4 children. Youths in this country prefer bearing more than eight children. If there are many children and perhaps more than two wives, the cost of living could be a problem. This will automatically lead to the acute malnutrition of children. In fact according to the multi-indicator cluster survey (MICS 2000) it shows that there is an underweight prevalence in children of about 27.2% and 9.8% for under fives.

7) Youths should develop a global partnership to take programmes in and out of the country. Internally, youths should collaborate with government ministries and non-governmental organizations so that actualization of their overall development could be achieved. Externally, if youths or youth organizations, create a reliable and efficient network out of the country, valuable information for their common benefit will be empowered.

Thank you.

Ishmael Dumbaya
122 Leicester Road (off Berry Street)
Freetown, Sierra Leone
Tel: 232 76 897 169

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Oh We have missed them by a Mile
Lehlohonolo Chefa | Aug 8th, 2006
The MDGs are nothing but one of the outcomes of fruitless UN goal setting that are meant to take the development agenda from where the real solutions can be found. The worse part is the fact that we all make promises we are very certain that we can't commit resources to. I would not be surprised if by 2010 we can have another set of goal set towards 2030.

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