Saturday, March 21, 2009
“Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it, establish your priorities and go to work.” – H.L. Hunt [FINANCIER]
Basically, “young people” on Buduburam Camp live in a society where the word “problem” doesn’t necessarily imply that youth is assumed to be a moment in which storm and stress predominate; it can be the beginning of puberty to the attainment of adulthood. Practically, difficult decisions and adjustments face Buduburam youths in challenging moment as we try to fit ourselves into society. Have our live lived in Exile be dominated or influence by a ‘refugee culture?’
Therefore, as a youth of Buduburam, I would attempt to identify some of the fundamental problems faced by our residing youth and possible solutions to these problems, as a means to help maximize our youthfulness. Unfortunately, social malaises or disappointment is traceable to Buduburam value system in which diligence; honesty, honor and integrity are no longer accorded the respect they deserve. The argument is complex. Apparently, the most fundamental problem faced by Buduburam youth is premarital sex and dating. Our society has reduced our thinking to sexing. Active youths (age 14 – 29) who should have a positive character and a great sense of intelligence, is wasting unnecessary moment on temporary things. Why should you have sexual intercourse with boys who have no interest marring you?
According to Yew and Anyele Perbi, in their book, “X-sense (SeXsense),” many young people are sexually active. Some early 1990s statistics in the US for example revealed that 40% of ninth graders (equivalent of JSS 3 in Ghana), 48% of tenth graders, 57% of eleventh graders and 72% of twelfth graders (SSS 3 in Ghana) has had sex. Other studies show that 83% of unmarried 19-year old males plus 75% of unmarried females would have had sexual intercourse before marriage. Recently, Sonny Caton wrote, “Many young people today are debarred from learning the valuable experience of adjusting to other persons. Parents should understand that youth show deficiency in the development of social poise, which might not be available otherwise and this deprives them of their privilege.”
One method which can be adopted to curb the problem which arises from premarital sex and promiscuity is to constantly educate the youth of our settlement. Friends I talked to suggested that, “UNHCR should help organize youth workshop monthly with young people on youthful subject.” Parents, peer educators, opinion leaders and the church can and should do more to promote healthy relationship among our youth.
An area of immense concern and which poses a problem for Buduburam youth is TENSION between parents and children. Parents have made their children to believe that they are overanxious and overprotective. In the process to turn into an adult, many youth ignore the value of obedience. They usually resent any restrictions placed upon them. Often, youth are involved into negative things because they are not willing to admit their doubts and fears to parents. This breeds tension between parents and youth of our settlement. To solve this problem, parents should exercise control over young people, but with discipline and understanding.
Pleasure has also dragged many of Buduburam’s youth into drug abuse. In fact, who are the youth involved? The dimension and language attached to it is awful and unpleasant to write in this article. The “GAP” in area ‘E’ is widely known for breeding drug addict. Drugs and drinking alcohol have eaten deep into the marrow of our refugee settlement. Possibly, the camp is about to close. Is this our passionate motivation? The practice is now integrated into the normal way of life and is regarded as “enjoyment,” or “farzin’.” This evil of youthful pleasure has brought about the fast declining state of our camp system and limited opportunity for the disadvantaged.
Are there available solutions? Awareness about the danger of drug should be created. There is a tendency that young people involve will understand and know the threat they are causing to their health. Potential counselors and youth educators should help in the process by organizing seminars and workshops.
Teenage pregnancies and venereal disease are also common problems facing Buduburam youth or teenager. Being pregnant at an early age is a venomous effects on one’s health. The girl education will be disrupted. The risk of “catching” the deadly disease AIDS is most significant. According to a health worker I talked to recently said, “Many young people on Camp may contact the disease if they are not careful, and, they will suffer the consequences by being terminally ill.” Surveys have shown that the primary source regarding sex, is peers, not from parents. Subsequently, the only solution is the postponement of sex prior to marriage. This can go a long way to reduce the incidence of AIDS.
Many concern refugee question the significance of the church in view of what is happing in our Buduburam community today, in terms of drug, disappointment, violence, crime and sexual activities. Perhaps the church needs to expand its programs intensively in sort to effectively provide some ways to solve the youth problems in our time and extension to limit their disappointment and increase their Holiness.
Conclusively, I would hope that this article serves as a working tool for helping youth on Buduburam Camp to appreciate and understand some of the problems which confront them daily and how they can attempt to solve them as they maximize their youthfulness.
Furthermore, it is my fervent hope that those in authority would work in conjunction with young people, including youth groups and organization to help them alleviate the aforementioned problems. We must open our hearts and ears to the cry of those who need help and take the initiative of the responsibility to bring change to our society. Let us stop wasting time on things that won’t work. Samuel Smiles Advise, "Lost wealth may be replaced by industry, lost knowledge by study, lost health by temperance or medicine, but lost time is gone forever." It is currently on the arm of the adult to set the swiftness towards to a better future.