As the days to the Pre-Synodal meeting of Pope Francis and some 300 young people from across the globe draws nearer, the majority of young people are eager to share their views, sentiments, worries and fears among other things with the Holy Father so that their concerns and needs may be addressed.
The purpose of the Pre-Synodal Meeting, which is scheduled to take place in Rome between 19th to 24th March 2018 is to provide an opportunity for young people to produce a document which will later on in October this year, form a basis of deliberations among the Synod Fathers who are scheduled to meet under the theme: Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment. The document will bear the views of the young people on the state of things, their ideas, their feelings and their recommendations.
Alloys Nyakundi, a young Kenyan who is currently pursuing a degree in Pastoral Studies, focusing on Small Christian Communities at Loyola University, New Orleans, USA is one such young people who hopes to get solutions after sharing their experiences as the youth. Although he is not among the 300 participants who will be meeting with the Pope for the pre-Synodal meeting, Nyakundi a strong member and champion of Youth Small Christian Communities believes that young people today are more scared of never meeting the love of their life than being homeless, losing their job or finding themselves in the middle of a terrorist attack.
According to a post he made on Youth Small Christian Communities Facebook page, because of this fear of not finding love, many young people feel lonely and bored.
“Loneliness typically includes feelings anxious or a lack of connection or communication with other people, both in the present and extending into the future. As such, loneliness can be felt even when surrounded by other people,” he explained.
Terming loneliness a serious health risk, Nyakundi vividly described the situation as being in a place with a thousand people but feeling invisible to every one of them and the main cause of the scenario is difficulties among young people to establish and maintain lasting friendships that culminates into meaningful relations.
Another issue that worries the majority of young people especially in Kenya is lack of academic empowerment which consequently leads to lack of proper knowledge and skills required to get employments.
“A larger population of talented youths languish in abject poverty and hopelessness because the number of scholarships being offered is limited, thus most of them only afford elementary education. This has disadvantaged the participation of youth in leadership,” he explained adding that the consequence is underrepresentation of the young people in decision making positions at the national level.
Nyakundi further expressed a concern that junior citizens in Kenya have fewer privileges compared to their seniors in almost all spheres of life and this further denies them personal growth necessary for their well-being and empowerment. For instance, he singled out the fact that youthful Kenyans are often locked out from applying for powerful positions in the executive and the judiciary, this was evident in the recruitment for the country’s next Chief Justice following the recent resignation of the incumbent.
“One of the requirements for an applicant was that he/she should be 40 years and above, and have at least 15 years’ experience in law. This automatically disqualified ambitious young lawyers in their 30’s and 20’s from applying for the lucrative and powerful position. Not because they are incapable but because of the strongly entrenched social patriarchy,” he said.
Owing to such trends, Nyakundi pointed out that the unfortunate young people in Kenya are often left out just as spectators and poorly paid servants working as gardeners, night guards, revenue collectors and worst of it all, being exploited by powerful politicians to take part in political protests and demonstrations.
Nyakundi who speaks for many young people not only in Kenya but throughout AMECEA Region, Africa and in deed the whole world hopes that the pre-Synod dialogue between the young people and the Holy Father and subsequently the Synod of Bishops in October will address these challenges in-depth and come up with concrete ways of arresting the fears, worries and concerns and challenges of the youth people.
Souce: AMECEA News online – Pamela Adinda