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Somalia, August 2016: Thanking our young change makers

By Fatima Abdi Ali, Somali Youth Ambassador/Somali Youth Vision

© Mohamed Abdiwali Otaanga
Fatima Abdi Ali, enjoying a visit to the beautiful Jazira beach in Mogadishu.

August 2016 – It may sound strange but being a young person in Somalia today is a golden opportunity. It is the youth who have the chance to re-build a country which suffered years of war, where every sector of life needs change makers, peace promoters, scientists, entrepreneurs and fresh young leaders who are full of positive energy.

Today, the Somali youth, who are three quarters of the population, are the most important asset that Somalia has. They can show the world that the Somalia of today is totally different from the Somalia of yesterday. And that Somalia will become better and better. They can make unprecedented changes.

It has been hard. The Somali youth have been most affected by conflict – the lack of law and order, insecurity, illegal migration, unemployment, drug abuse, piracy and extremist activities.

But youth can also use their energy and skills to be the creators, shapers, painters and makers. The Somali youth will create the life and country they want to see, and help future generations to enjoy a life like other young people around the world. Succeeding in this will be the greatest joy and happiness they can have.

© Mohamed Abdiwali Otaanga
Somali youth on Somali Youth Day (15 May 2016), with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in the Peace Garden in Mogadishu.

Already there are those working towards this, restoring the shining cities of Somalia, planting flowers in Mogadishu’s streets, to make it one of the most beautiful cities in Africa again. There are the young photographers who show the true, hidden positive images of Somalia which are never seen in the media, those who are trying to encourage foreign visitors to come.

There are also young activists who work for the rights of everyone, especially disabled people. The Somali Diaspora, especially the youth, are returning from abroad to restore Somalia.

We can also show the world that the only successful tactic against terrorist groups, is to work with the young people, to give them a positive outlook, and giving them a chance to show the world their talents.

I want to say that every country has young people like this - they should be appreciated. We need to encourage youth everywhere to start acting, to start doing great things to create the world we want. I believe is that being a young person is the best time of your life – nothing is better – so we should use this opportunity to create the life we want for today, tomorrow and the future.

Dreams can come true.

Happy International Youth Day to my Somali Youth, to my African Youth and all the World Youth.

 

 
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