There are gigantic numbers of young people who are stepping up to fill the role of leadership in today’s communities. The time has come to put faith in our youngsters to take over peer responsibility in fighting terrorism & radicalization.
The younger generations are talented in many fields as evidenced in their ingenuity on social media and other content-sharing websites. Sports and talent is thus an avenue the youth can use to combat the influence of terrorism among their peers. Through building constructive networks, we actively empower them to take care of their brothers and sisters in society.
If well facilitated, the youth can engage their peers in entrepreneurship activities and projects. Being the most vulnerable area of our entire population, they are lured to terror activities with lucrative promises of a better future. Empowering this section of the population financially with opportunities ensures they’re able to thrive independently. Hence, they can further create more jobs in the community.
Further, the youth can support each other through social events and engagement platforms. Such an approach can potentially provide vulnerable youths with social grounding. People who are typically radicalized by terror groups such as the Al Shabaab, lack a connection to society; they do not have a well-established identity or a sense of belonging. Constructive social engagements could include church-based events, cultural or community linked events where the youth participate meaningfully and engage each other.
The youth could make a difference if they are engaged in impactful & informed decision making. The relevant stakeholders must be willing to have a sit-down with the youth and listen to their concerns, needs, and suggestion in matters that affect them. Accordingly, they will not feel marginalized. Further, the ideas and opinions such youthful voices will have the apparent effect of attracting more numbers.
Mentorship has been proven to positively impact people in such situations, and the help of a friend or a person that one trusts would be monumental in making good decisions. These initiatives could be further expanded and accelerated in the form of Nyumba Kumi. Similar initiatives have proven remarkably effective in crime and terror prevention across the nation.