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    Youth empowerment: Need of the hour

    December 29, 2019

    Shortly after the presidential election, through an unintentional call by a youngster through social media, a wall painting campaign started in a distant city in Sri Lanka. In a jiffy, the campaign went viral and stretched into the whole country. Even after several weeks, many youngsters still engaged in the task. This is a clear message to everybody concerned, how freshness, vigour, spirit and creativity of Sri Lankan youth as a whole can be drawn into a positive and productive errand.

    Harnessing the power of youth in Sri Lanka in a sustainable development process will provide inconceivable outcome in the long run. Development of youth in Sri Lanka will contribute an amazingly high yield to the economic growth of the country. By allowing these young adults to discover and develop skills, making them responsible & self reliant, with a proper leadership will not only make a flourishing future for them but also a long lasting and sustainable growth to the country.

    This is important to both the nation and the empowered. With youth empowerment, the future prosperity of the country is secured. Notably, this segment of the society will take care of many offices and functions in the country in the future. Young generation is hungry for better options.

    They reject the status quo and demanding a better future and many of them are willing to take risks to do so. When they are allowed to realize their full potential, the country can envisage huge economic gains.

    This is not a daunting task if the leadership is given by a committed, dedicated and adequately clued-in team of experienced professionals. Youth empowerment consists of interdependent dimensions such as psychological, economical, organizational and social aspects. An appropriate and prudent programme will provide the required motivation and awareness to the youth.

    As mentioned earlier in the article, largely intelligent and creative Sri Lankan youth can easily be drawn into productive action by educating them about how meaningful and important their contribution is to the motherland.

    Sri Lanka is a country teeming in youth literacy, with a staggering rate of 98.7%, which should be looked at by relevant authorities in the administration to devise techniques to utilize this valuable factor to enhance gross productivity. In fact, youth literacy, which is the best in this geographical region in the world, is a major resource for not only for development of monetary prosperity but also for social improvement as well. However, despite being such a vitally important factor, this energy is still not properly channeled in the right direction. This is a challenge not restricted to the Government but also to the entire private sector of the country. The need for the empowerment of youth for the future is connected to the financial elevation for good measure.

    Youth empowerment in any development activity is imperative not only for national development of an entire country but also for personal development of an individual.

    This is necessarily a process of inculcating values to empower the learner to manage a life that is satisfying while being in accordance with the principles and morals of society at large.

    Youth empowerment can help reduce the rate of poverty by noteworthy levels. In this context, the decision of the new administration to empower youth by providing employment to unskilled youngsters in relevant areas will immensely assist the families in the area to elevate their present living standards.

    However, a notable barrier will be whether these youngsters who are assigned with a task are adequately motivated to provide their best.

    This is a factor which should seriously be looked at prior to appointing them for employment. In addition to the job role training, a properly designed short training programme on subjects such as positive attitudes, personal development as well as emphasis on their own contribution to the society may be useful.

    Empowering youth to understand that their voice makes a huge difference in this country and that all ideas are worth exploring will only give them more motivation and fuel to continue strengthening their own power for change.

    Providing Sri Lankan youngsters with necessary information and resources in order to analyze issues that affect their lives will assist them to become strong in decision making. They should be given the tools to engage in their own brainstorming and to find answers. Encouragement should be provided to these young men and women by guiding them to use their own passions and creativity, to bring attention to find purpose in life. It is vital to guide the youth to understand that everything needs planning, and to help them realize that all visions and ideas take time to achieve.

    On the subject matter of ‘Youth Empowerment’, the Private Sector contribution in Sri Lanka is of paramount importance as they are capable of providing much more opportunities to youth than the Government.

    However, currently, a huge vacuum exists in Sri Lanka in the Private Sector employment, particularly in skilled segments. There are thousands of vacancies that are being advertised daily in the newspapers, social media and various employment websites.

    An understandable reason for this gap can be explained as a lack of interest in the youth towards learning professional skills. At the end of their secondary education at school, the students are not adequately informed about the opportunities available as skilled workers.

    The Sri Lankan system of education does not provide guidance at the proper time to select their careers at this crucial phase. Therefore, these youngsters who are at peak mental and physical point in life are either unaware or realizing what is to be expected in their own future.

    Due to lack of correct and accurate guidance and counseling, many of them run astray and do not realize the gravity of their future until it is very late.

    Hence, a mechanism to provide clear direction for the youth at the final point of secondary education is extremely essential. When this mechanism in place, youth empowerment will be meaningful and immensely contributory to the future growth of the country.


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