A call for self introspection!!
For it is Written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentile because of you.” Romans 2:24
As life challenges pile up, societies and communities have since stopped looking out for one another instead its now, “each man for himself,” approach.
Nations, great or small which were built under Christian fundamentals no longer seek God first amid life crisis, instead they have since started seeking God after crisis.
What is troubling is the rate at which young people are slowly drifting away from the biblical principles that once guided us, for example praising and praying.
As young people and as leaders, where has empathy, patience and compromise gone to, is it because it doesn’t matter any more or we simply don’t care.
The youth nowadays, need to be more compassionate, to feel for the next person. If we don’t, we risk being the fighters of tomorrow instead of leaders
As youths it is time to stop, sit and think for a while, is there a higher power or its just what it is. We as the future bearers need to start sacrificing the urgent and save that which it important in order to safeguard the future.
If older generations pride themselves for not having rich parents but still getting love not worldly materials, for being a unique and, the most understanding generation.
Question is what do we pride ourselves with?
Girl Force: Unscripted and Unstoppable
“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”. 1 John 3:18
STUDENT CHRISTIAN MOVEMENT OF ZIMBABWE (SCMZ), would like to commemorate the International Day of the Girl Child a commemoration that is celebrated every year on the 11th of October. A day we remind ourselves the struggles that all girls go through and how far we have come as a young Christians to facilitate the empowerment of the girl child through our work in female capacity building and gender mainstreaming.
We are happy to be one of the leading organisations in Zimbabwe that pushed for a motion to “promote stiffer penalties on gender-based violence offenders”. As a people that have a God given mandate in the land of the living we continue to fight and eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls and soldier to promote the rights and freedoms of the girl child, bearing in mind that we still have a long way to go.
We stand and unite and see girls and humans before we see them as people of different gender.
For decades and decades patriarchy dominated Africa. Girls where considered and regarded as baby making machines. Sold and bought as if they were commodities.
Their duty was to sit home, learn house chores and how to take care of a man. Marriage was similar to attaining a tertiary degree.
At the age of six the girl child was trained and indoctrinated to the point that they gave dolls real food.
This year 2019 it is also important to talk about matters to do with menstruation so that the girl child has a healthy and happy period. At the end of it all lets all remember menstruation is natural and it happens.
As the Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe., today we stand and rally behind all the girls in the world as we celebrate and commemorate the DAY OF THE GIRL CHILD.
A day we remind ourselves the struggles that all girls went through and how far we have come as a people to give them the chance to empower themselves and be able to make decisions for themselves.
As a people in this land of the living we continue to fight and soldier on fighting to promote the rights and freedoms of the girl child, bearing in mind that we still a long way to go.
We stand and unite and see girls and humans before we see them as people of different gender.
However, as a people lets unite and empower the girl child, not forgetting to empower the boy child for the empowered girl child.
Don’t let Anyone Look down upon you because you are young 1 Timothy 4:1
Photo by Ruramai E Mutimusakwa®
The phrase youths are the leaders of tomorrow constantly loses value on a day to day basis. However, over 500 youths realized that it is time to start acting on tomorrow instead of stating what tomorrow should be like.
From Friday the 4th of October 2019 to Saturday the 5th over 500 youths attended the BUSINESS, LEADERSHIP and ECONOMIC YOUTH EMPOWERMENT SUMMIT held in Kentucky Airport Hotel in Hatfield Harare to identify and address issues that affected them. The main objective of the summit was to provide a safe space for students be given professional advice and get a chance to debate and discuss issues that affect them on a day to day basis.
The Summit was organized by Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe in collaboration with other youth and ecumenical organisations namely Youth Empowerment transformation Trust, Zimbabwe Youth Council, International Christian Youth Works, Zimbabwe Council of Churches under the banner of IMPACT
This proved to be a safe space for youths as they managed to point out their challenges, concerns and deliberate on matters such as the Youth Policy.
Photo by Ruramai E Mutimusakwa®
Moreover, several guest speakers drawn from various sectors such as the business and commerce where invited to assist the youths and they made mention that youths need to understand that change does take time but it is important for the youths to keep fighting.
Guests speakers present were Dr Park Sung Soo (Korea), Arthur Marara (ZIM), David and Linda Isgrove (UK), Dr Joe Bonga (Kenya) and Rev Dr K Mtata (ZIM).
Rev Dr K Mtata pointed out that the life of a youth should be comparable to that of Jesus.
“Jesus lived his most ripe years as an active youth in and around his community,” said Dr Mtata.
The summit went on to discuss issues based on topics such as youth participation in policy making and engagement, leadership and good governance, health and sexuality and youth and entrepreneurship.
This summit comes at a time when the government along side relevant partners have began the process of reviewing the current National Youth Policy of 2012 to align it with the 2013 Constitution and make it relevant to the issues and concerns that young people are currently confronting.
Guest speakers challenged the youths to take time and think, If not the youth then who?
Of depression and the rise of suicides among university students
“Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” 1st Peter 5 verse 7
According to the American College Health Association (ACHA), suicide is fast becoming one of the leading causes of death in university students due to depression. The university period is accompanied by additional responsibilities and pressure to succeed, which may increase mental distress, depression or lead to drug abuse. In addition, university students have been found to experience low life satisfaction and to be more depressed than a non-student population of a similar age. As a result, some students may succumb to suicidal ideation and a greater risk of dying by suicide.
What is depression?
Depression (major students feel as if life is not worth living.
In Zimbabwe, headlines every year circulate of students ending their lives due to depression caused by academic pressure, relationship depressive disorder) is a common and a serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression cause feeling of sadness and loss of interest once enjoyed. It can also lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function well at school and at home. Depression can make fallouts and financial crunches. University students suicide cases are going up each and every year especially last year there were many reported cases of students committing suicide. Midlands State University having the highest number, in 2014 three students and one staff member ended their lives in the same semester. It is very challenging for students suffering from depression to balance academic pressures and financial stresses as well as maintaining a flashy lifestyle. Students especially those in higher tertiary scrounge for food, rent and assignments printing especially those doing dissertations, and they only got their funds from guardians and organizations who also find it difficult to meet their expectations. Given the ever-rising costs of college, it is not surprising that many students are stressed about money. According to the 2015 National Student Financial Awareness, 70% of university students are stressed about finances.
Relationship fallouts/ loss of relationship due to either, break up or if a partner passes away can make someone commit suicide. For instance last year there were two cases of students who killed themselves due to heartbreaks, a student from National University of Science and Technology threw herself in front of a train because she had fallen pregnant for another man yet she had a boyfriend whom her parents knew. Also, another student from Midlands State University hung himself on a shower, rumours of his demise were that he had caught her lecture bedding his girlfriend.
The rise of suicide among students is a major issue that needs to be looked into with a lot of concern and creating effective preventable measures. Knowledge concerning suicide is largely limited, mental health groups together with students’ organizations should get into universities raising awareness and teaching the student community the importance of controlling stress. The majority of people in our African societies treat cases of suicides as demonic acts.
More so, the church has an obligation to see that all people have access to needed pastoral, medical care and therapy in those circumstances that lead to loss of self-worth and suicidal despair. It is the role of the church to provide education to address the biblical, theological, social and ethical issues related to depression. Churches and students organizations should always be places of safety and community for those wrestling with any issue, especially those with mental distress.
Youth unemployment a serious concern
Youth unemployment is a global phenomenon. Across the globe, youth are 43.7% of the total unemployed according to the International Labour Organization (ILO) 2010. In sub-Saharan Africa about 60% of the unemployed are youth. Youth in many countries now live with their parents upto to their late twenties and thirties and also depend on their parents on everything. The situation is the same as in Zimbabwe, the overall unemployment rate is over 95% with youth unemployment being pegged at 70 % according to (ILO 2006)
In Zimbabwe high education does not guarantee a decent job,, many companies have closed, making it difficult for university graduates to get jobs and for the few companies that are still operating only those who have connections with people on the top ladder are the only one getting employment. Nepotism has somehow made it difficult for many qualified and skilled youth to get jobs as only those in power are favouring their relatives and friends.Widespread youth unemployment also leads to a socially excluded generation with a greater risk of poverty. The unstable economic environment has lead to the escalation of the informal sector and black market which has absorbed most young people as illegal miners and money exchange dealers. High levels of unemployment in the country has pushed the youth to no longer concentrate on a particular job that they are qualified for, but rather try their best to do anything that will help support them and their families. Most unemployed youths have been subjected to begging, illicit deals and drug abuse.The harsh economic environment has resulted from bad leadership and poor governance destroying the future generation of Zimbabwe.
Youth unemployment has greater effects on the society as a whole. Youth unemployment has brought all sorts of vices including participation in politically motivated violence, like the country witnessed in January where young people were seen burning tyres and putting barriers on major roads. Young girls and women has been involved into prostitution and this has increased the spread of HIV and AIDS.
Youth unemployment need to be solved and done away with. The government acknowledges that youth unemployment is a serious problem, but the question remains, “What has the government done to solve this problem?” The government has become desensitized to the plight of its own youth. It is high time the Zimbabwean government acknowledge that indeed youth unemployment is a national crisis. Thousands of young people are graduating each and everyday so they can join their colleagues in the streets.
“Let us support the young people of our world, so that they grow into adults who raise yet more generations of productive and powerful leaders” Ban Kin-Moon (2012)
“There is overwhelming evidence that investing in women is the most effective way to lift communities, companies and countries…” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres
The Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe joins the rest of the world in commemorating International Girls in ICT Day. International Girls in ICT Day is a day recognized around the globe and is celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday of April and will this year be observed on 25 April 2019. The International Girls in ICT day aims to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of ICTs, enabling both girls and technology companies to reap the benefits of greater female participation in the ICT sector. The ICT sector is currently male dominated especially at senior levels, where women are present; it is often low-level and low skilled jobs.
To date, over 300,000 girls and young women have taken part in more than 9,000 celebrations of International Girls in ICT Day in 166 countries worldwide, according to the ITU website. As Student Christian Movement Of Zimbabwe, we encourage women and girls to participate in the ICT sector and we will continue to strive for the emancipation of women in attaining economic independence, because we believe that the ICT sector needs more girls and women.
In Zimbabwe women constitute more than 54% of the total population, and yet are the least exposed to Information and Communication Technology (ICT). ITCs has a powerful role in advancing women’s rights, empowerment and gender equality. Supporting the education of women and girls in the ICT sector is also in line with the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 5 aimed at achieving gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls. Not only are jobs in the ICT sector lifting women out of poverty, but a more gender balanced sector enables highly talented women to springboard to the top of the career ladder.
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