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Spending time with the youth

Who would have ever thought that a teenager would save his nation from the attack of the enemy? Neither the sons of a man from Bethlehem not the King would believe that a teenager would save the whole nation from the ruthless nation with its champion, Goliath. The story is told in the book of Samuel in the Bible (1 Samuel1 17: 1-56).

The Joy Centre for leadership training in Wakiso has this season focused on the training of leaders knowing well that if the teenagers ever caught the vision of a nation well led, they would bring changes to Uganda. Dr. John Sentamu the Archbishop of York speaking about a teenager at the Scripture Union Secondary School at Busoga College, Mwiri said,” President Museveni … said to a spiritual leader who discouraged him from discussing a protest against Ian Smith’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence, during a Scripture Union meeting we both attended, in Mwiri, in the mid-60s.” Who ever knew that the teenager at the conference in Mwiri would be president of Uganda in 1980s – barely 20 years?

The Bakiga of South Western Uganda have a saying that goes “Akati keinikwa kakiri kabisi” – you can only bend a young tree. So to speak, the old one will break instead of bending in shape.  Change becomes harder for older people than the young.  It was Adolf Hitler, the leader of Nazi Germany who saturated schools, government, and in every part of life with propaganda. “Give me the youth, and Germany will rule the World” he was once quoted saying- a saying that is far too true. The mind of a child is can be imprinted like a gosling and acquire the learned behaviors and attitudes of authority. Hitler used this fact to his advantage, taking German boys away from their families and turning them into loyal soldiers. With this strong backbone of support, aided by his skillful public speaking skills, Hitler was able to amass an army to conquer Europe.

Such learned values die hard. It is said that Vladimir Putin, twice president of Russia is a byproduct of this massive training of the young known as KGB. True Communism is dead at least from the Western point of view. But it seems it is still alive in the lives of many people who went through the Communist indoctrination. Working and developing leaders out of the young people may not be waste of time as it may seem.


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